Nigerians and examination fraud
By SULEIMAN NASIRU –
A TEST or an examination is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker’s knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics (e.g., beliefs). A test may be administered orally, on paper, on a computer, or in a confined area that requires a test taker to physically perform a set of skills. Tests vary in style, rigor and requirements. For example, in a closed book test, a test taker is often required to rely upon memory to respond to specific items whereas in an open book test, a test taker may use one or more supplementary tools such as a reference book or calculator when responding to an item. A test may be administered formally or informally.
An example of an informal test would be a reading test administered by a parent to a child. An example of a formal test would be a final examination administered by a teacher in a classroom or an I.Q. test administered by a psychologist in a clinic. Formal testing often results in a grade or a test score. A test score may be interpreted with regards to a norm or criterion, or occasionally both. The norm may be established independently, or by statistical analysis of a large number of participants. Like in Nigerian schools from Primary, post primary to tertiary institution, test and examination have been the basic determinant of promotion and whatever progress the institution wants to determine from the students taking the examination or test.
Over the years in Nigeria the organisations charge with the responsibility of conducting examinations for final year students of our secondary schools have been West African Examination Council (WAEC), Nigerian Examination Council (NECO) and National Board Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB), and these bodies have been able to carryout this task responsibly over the years and the results obtain from these examinations have been the yardstick for university, polytechnic and other tertiary institutions’s admission. So, their patronage becomes almost compulsory for any Nigerian students desiring to have a higher education in Nigeria, even employment at whatever level, the school certificate is a very potent qualification one must posses to get the required job irrespective of your degree.
It became worrisome to many of us about what is going on in the country now during examinations, the way and manner examinations is conducted in most of our secondary schools today call for concerns. It is no longer news in Nigeria that across the land there are various miracles centres where results are manufactured for students who are ready to pay the price, students no longer write exams on their own. It is out of fashion to sit for Senior Secondary Examination on your own as students goes about on the streets discussing how they cheated in examination, since most of the private schools in Nigeria have turn results manufacturing centres, questions are solved and photocopied for students to copy in their answer booklet, in other places questions are solved on the chalk board readily available for students to copy, it is so bad now that even school with missionary background are involved in this crime.
Yes crime which most Nigerians don’t want to believe it is a crime as they do it freely, parents take their wards to miracles centres or hire people to sit unbehalf of their children in order to get the required grades for university admission, the trends cut across all the six geo-political zone in the country no exception, almost all the schools in Nigeria are guilty of these crime nobody border to see the destructive parts of these evils but encouraging people to participate in the generally acceptable way of passing exams in Nigeria as our teachers are not qualified to transmit knowledge to our students that will give them the impetus to sit for exams and pass on their own without been ‘help’. Government on their own part have no serious programmes for curbing the menace while the various examination bodies are complacent, where most of their staffs are fully involved in the business of examination malpractice.
One of the means these examinations bodies adopted to curb the crime is by cancellation of results they suspected the candidates were involved in examination malpractice, but this means seems not to be very effective or happens to be a very unjust way of curbing the crime as many people have suffered victimization. Most at times the results of innocent candidates were cancelled by WEAC or NECO, while these candidates actually did not take part in the crime and those who actually cheated, get their results without any hitches.
This has led to the call by so many people that the examinations bodies should adopt a more digitalised way of solving the problem, cameras should be install in the various centres to monitor the conduct of examinations, while men of integrity should be employ as external supervisors, since the schools proprietors have shown clearly that they are in the business of examination fraud, the nefarious acts has been their survival strategy, unhealthy competition by school owners and a contaminated value system by Nigerians have succeeded in crippling the examination system in the country, though this is just a reflection of a bad education system in the country, as government and other job providers have no other means of employing people other than placing emphasis on paper qualifications, this to a great extent have contributed immensely to the destruction of the entire system.
We need a deliberate action by government to fight this crime. Because it is very clear that WAEC, NECO, school owners, parents and other stakeholders are in business, and the only way to continue in business is to respect the wishes of their customers. as they say, a customer is a king, and these they do by ensuring they satisfy their customers, whom are these indolent students who are encouraged by their shameless parents who want to see their children pass exams at all cost not minding the damaging effect this way of passing exams is to the future of the country?
God forbid, that last sets of scholars in Nigeria I fear will be the old professors we have at our various universities, as most of the newly employed lecturers have in one time or the other benefited from this crime not to talk of our teachers particularly those undergoing training presently, who know no other way of passing exams than giving gratification to our ever hungry lecturers to ensure they come out with good grades. So, the onus now is with our government if they are a serious government they must come up with action plan on how to curb examination fraud now!
Nasiru writes from Kaduna
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