WAEC: Why there is upsurge in exam malpractice in Nigeria

students writing exams in Nigeria

The Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), says the pressure on schools’ principals to achieve better performance at all cost had led to an upsurge of examination malpractice.

The Head, Public Affairs, Mr Damianus Ojijeogu said this in a communiqué issued by at the end of the committee’s 63rd meeting of the council on Thursday in Lagos.

According to Ojijeogu, the meeting held from Tuesday, March 28 to Wednesday, March 29.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Lagos that the development was worrisome and must be discouraged in order to get the education sector back on track.

Ojijeogu said that the quest to achieve the much needed national transformation and development might not be realised soon; if stakeholders failed to do the needful to achieve positive results.

According to him, WAEC will continue to remain committed in protecting the integrity of its examinations no matter what it takes.

He said that the committee called on government at all levels and all stakeholders to intensity the fight against examination malpractice by sanctioning reported erring supervisors and invigilators.

“The committee has also called on state governments and Ministries of Education to closely monitor the conduct of WAEC examinations by appointing officials of high integrity to monitor examination centres,’’ he said.

According to him, during the 63th meeting, the committee received reports on irregularities, special and clemency cases arising from the conduct of the 2016 WASSCE for school candidates.

He added that the committee also considered a report on the conduct of the 2016 WASSCE for private candidates, and irregularities arising from the conduct of the examination.

Ojijeogu noted that the committee after diligent deliberations on all reported cases also approved appropriate sanctions in all established cases of malpractice.

“This is as prescribed by the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the council’s examinations.

“ It approved the Cancellation of Entire Results (CER) of candidates involved in proven cases.

“Just as subject results of those involved in proven cases attracted Cancellation of Subject Results (CSR).

“In addition, some candidates will also suffer other sanctions such as barring them from sitting for the council’s examinations for a certain number of years; while some examination centres will be de-listed.

The decisions of the committee will be implemented without delay and the affected candidates and examination centres duly informed by the Council,’’ he said.

Ojijeogu, however, added that the results of candidates who were exonerated by the committee will be released soon.

He said that the committee considered Special and Restitution cases, just as it also received reports on the statistics of entries and results for the 2016 WASSCE for school candidates.

“In addition, the committee also received and considered the general resume of the chief examiners’ reports on the 2016 WASSCE for Private Candidates.

“The report stated that the questions were within the scope of the syllabuses and the rubrics were clearly stated.

“The chief examiners also reported that the marking schemes were comprehensive and marks were well distributed,’’ Ojijeogu said.

He said committee also received and considered reports on the activities of the Aptitude Tests Department (ATD), for the period Oct. 2016 to March, 2017; also that of the Research Department of the council for the period Oct. 2016 to Feb. 2017.

According to him, the committee further observed proper enforcement of the rule preventing candidates from bringing mobile phones into the examination halls and stopping supervisors and invigilators from being their couriers be encouraged.

He said that the committee assured of WAEC’s continuous collaboration with the cyber crime arm of the Nigeria Police to put the `rogue website’ operators peddling alleged examination questions and answers out of business.

The NEC is the highest decision making organ of WAEC examination-related matters in Nigeria.

It meets twice a year, to consider matters relating to the conduct of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for School Candidates and Private Candidates.