In its bid to curb the growing trend of Examination malpractices in the country, the National Examinations Council (NECO), has called on the Federal Government to prioritize security of examinations.
This is just as the examination body disclosed that it recorded about 40,000 cases of examination malpractice perpetrated by students out of a total of 1,163,194 candidates that registered for the June/July 2019 Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, SSCE and NECO examination.
The Acting Registrar of NECO, Mr Abubakar Gana, who made the call in a brief submitted to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, on the mandate and achievements of the Council between May 2018 and September 2019 also said that it blacklisted 18 supervisors for various roles connected to malpractices.
Gana further appealed to the federal government to formulate a deliberate policy aimed at promoting discipline and a culture of honesty among teachers, school administrators and students.
He lamented that rather than be a part of the army fighting the scourge of examination malpractice, supervisors, teachers and school administrators have continued to be a major challenge frustrating measures being put in place to address the menace, by colluding with perpetrators to aid most especially, acts of impersonation.
According to him, even though Council acquired 8,000 biometric verification machines before its conduct of the 2019 SSCE, more biometric verification devices would be required to serve NECO’s over 16,000 centres and enable it strengthen its efforts towards eliminating identity theft, which was the severest form of examination malpractice.
Speaking on its achievements, the NECO boss said immediately after his assumption of office, he embarked on critical reforms, which had led to the successful conduct of the 2018 June/July SSCE under compelling circumstances and released the results of the examination within forty days of completion.
According to him, the Council abolished the use of scratch cards following the scam that surrounded it, which led to loss of hundreds of millions in revenue, adding that it subjected all printed 2018 November/December registration cards to activation only after the money for each card must have been credited to the Council’s TSA.
Gana who also noted that Council has cleared a backlog of unprinted certificates, made reference to the jettisoning of its former insecure website and development of an intractable, robust and secure corporate website as well as a successful audit and complete overhaul of its Information Communication Technology (ICT).
“The Council was equally able to clear the backlog of unprinted certificates up to 2016. The printed certificates have since been distributed to all the states of the federation and the FCT.
“The Council also successfully developed and used on the new website, a new and more user-friendly application used in the registration of 2019 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), this made the registration possible even on smart phone, in addition to other devices. The application was also used by candidates and parents to check the results and admission statuses of candidates.”
The NECO boss however noted that despite several achievements recorded during his tenure there were still challenges which include: “Lack of reading and adherence to guidelines governing our operations is causing a serious impediment to the successful implementation of the on-going reforms;
deliberate failure of school administrators to comply with laid down rules and regulations even where such rules were clearly spelt out for them, constitutes another major challenge.