The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has urged the federal government that in order to win its fight against the scourge of examination malpractices across the country which is ravaging the education sector; the federal government should declare perpetrators as terrorists and treat them as such.
Registrar to the Council, Dr Uyi Uwadiae said this while addressing some journalists at the WAEC International Office, Agidingbi Lagos on Tuesday where he disclosed that WAEC officials that go to monitor the conduct of the examination in some private centres go there at high risk.
“This is because candidates have devised various dangerous means such as carrying guns and dangerous weapons to the examination halls to prevent officials from monitoring and apprehending perpetrators of examination malpractice. Some even drug officials, they give them drinks which make them sleep throughout the conduct of exam”, he said.
To this end WAEC is organising an International Summit on examination malpractice slated for October 19 and 20, 2017 with the theme “Examination Malpractice: The Contemporary Realities and Antidotes”.
According to the Registrar, research have shown that one of the ways in curbing the worrisome trends in examination irregularities is the mounting of public enlightenment campaigns to draw attention of the stakeholders in education and the general public to the negative effects of examination malpractice on national development.
“The most notorious challenge facing examining bodies and other educational institutions in WAEC member is examination malpractice. Currently, the malaise has assumed dangerous and criminal dimensions on the heels of some advancement in technology which created the smartphones, the social media etc”, he said.
He said the Council has introduced several measures, adopted various strategies and deployed technologies at great costs in the fight against the ever festering menace.
“We are also calling on leaders of religious institutions to preach against the evil of examination malpractice. Let them tell their followers of the danger and the evil it does to our society”, he said.
The Registrar said perpetrators of exam malpractice have continued to devise ingenious and sophisticated methods of cheating leading to an exponential increase in reported cases of fraud in examinations, saying for instance in the May/June 1993 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nigeria, the results of only 58.494 candidates were withheld because of exam malpractice but by 2017, the number has increased to 214,952.