National head of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Nigeria, Charles Eguridu, has issued a warning against parents and schools that engage in organised malpractice, saying they were liable to dire consequences, including persecution.
Speaking Tuesday at a WAEC road show on examination malpractice sensitization, at Excellence Hotel, Ogba, Lagos, Eguridu said WAEC had employed greater measures in combating malpractice, some of which are biometric technology, which identifies each candidate by fingerprint, encrypted method of storing examination questions, such that they cannot be accessed by unauthorised personnel and impromptu inspection of examination centres while exams are ongoing.
The WAEC boss decried the increasing rate of examination malpractice in Nigeria over the last four years, as shown in the statistics.
According to his statistics, in 2011, 4.65 per cent of the total candidates that sat for WAEC engaged in malpractice; in 2012, it increased to 7.15 per cent, which rose to 7.75 per cent in 2013 and last year, 8.39 per cent of the 1, 692, 037 candidates who sat for the examinations were caught for malpractice.
Eguridu said an increasing statistics of malpractice would create a stain on the integrity of the WAEC certificate in the international system; creation of mediocre in the society, in cases where the cheats are not caught; and it undermines the nation’s educational system, while making it difficult to monitor educational policies.
He said: “As a people, our shared and most cherished values appear to rest on the platform of hypocrisy, because what we witness in our private world is in contrast to our values. Those who rig elections are not children, they are parents. When electoral officers falsify election results and we expect something different from children, that is hypocrisy. The present trend of examination malpractice among our youths is a negative symptom of the endemic level of corruption in our society. An attempt to curb examination malpractice without first addressing the general scourge of society would be meaningless.”
He appealed to WAEC candidates to avoid situations that could implicate them in the examination hall, so that their future would not be jeopardised.
“I appeal to you as leaders of tomorrow, your tomorrow lies in your hands. As up and coming generation, please take a decision to be different. Don’t join the rat race in examination malpractice, because even if you win the race, you remain a rat. WAEC does not fail anybody. Whether you pass or fail, the choice lies with you,” he said.
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