The Director General (DG) of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in an interview, spoke about the restoration of integrity in examinations in Nigeria. The NOA and the Exams Ethics Marshals International (EEMI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), collaborated on a project to analyse the level of misconduct in examinations in Nigeria and proferring lasting solutions to the issue.
A report by the Exam Ethics Project showed that about 12 per cent of candidates who sit for senior secondary school certificate examinations are involved some form of maplractice during the examinations. The report also showed that Nigeria ranks poorly in the world examination malpractice index (EMI).
The DG also criticised those schools that pride themselves as magic centres where they sell scores, grades and degrees in tertiary institutions; forge certificates and extort money from candidates.
Speaking further, the DG said, "Exam malpractice has become so lucrative in Nigeria that it has a street value of approximately N375 billion in the past 15 years or N25 billion per annum. These statistics are nothing to be proud about. Rather, they call for retrospection towards the cause of these unfortunate realities with a view to retracing our steps and finding lasting solutions.
â€śIndeed, the reason for the malaise of examination malpractice in our nation is not farfetched. The root cause lies in the gradual but constant erosion of our values as a people over the years. Having elevated mundane pursuits, mediocrity and mere paper qualifications above other considerations, we have forced integrity, merit and hard work to resign to the back seat of affairs in our society. Ultimately, the philosophy of the end justifies the means (whether the means is morally justifiable or not) has taken the centre stage of our thinking as a people.â€ť
"Nigerians have for long sacrificed what is right for our selfish ambitions. Hence, the decay of the fabrics of our educational system, low quality of labour turnover, endemic corruption, huge annual economic loss in excess of N315 billion, increase in criminal activities, inefficient human capital for national development and poor international image have been some of the many prices we have had to pay for it.â€ť
Tackling the challenges of examination malpractices is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders and it calls for a total transformation of our attitudes. This is no longer the time for trading blames because no one category of stakeholder, not even the government, has the capacity to singlehandedly solve the problem. We must all say no in words and actions to examination malpractice in the interest of the future of our children and the time to act is now.
â€śWe have designed several episodes of education best practices movies, documentaries, and other sanitation programmes on radio and television. We also have designed training and induction programme for teachers and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) officials.
â€śThis campaign to raise integrity standard in the conduct of examination in Nigeria is designed to be carried out nationwide in phases, with six states (one from each geo-political zone) chosen for the first phase. These states are Kogi, Zamfara, Bauchi, Oyo, Edo and Anambra. We wish to appeal to all stakeholders to accord NOA and Exam Ethics Marshals International all the necessary support whenever we come calling.â€ť
"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
OMOTAYO, J. A. Lagos, NIGERIA July 12, 2012
I have my respect for the DG of the NAtional Orietation Agency. I still recall his "Heir Apparent" project, among others, that was a thriller. There have always been examination malpractices in decades. But I am afraid that in this very instance, the facts or the scale of the malpractices do not support his assertions.
What are these facts:
(i) How much could a student pay for an examination paper and how many students / parents can afford same or be wiling to throw away such sums? An average student takes 9 subjects at a sitting. At N10,000 (assumed as a limit) per subject, each student would need N90,000 for the exam. How many parents would pay N90,000 for examination malpractices when such a sum can get lesson teachers for a month or two before the examinations?
(ii) The total number of students required to get a N25 billion annual income (though illegal) is 277,778 on the average. The answer to question (i) is 277,778 (assuming a chid pler parent).
(iii) In 2011, only 1,540,250 students sat for WASCE (WEAC) in Nigeria. The total results withheld was 81,573 only.
(iv) Comparing (ii) and (iii), we note that the total number of results withheld was 29.37%. How did the remaining over 70% escape from being caught or suspected? Yet there were supposed to be experienced invigilators and examiners. What happened to them?
There are many more questions, but I wish to stop here.
God save Nigeria.