Examination malpractice: This is how deep we have sunk

 

Government Reaction

When presented with the findings of the investigation, the Executive Chairman of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Sopeyin Oluremi, was surprised that impersonation is possible during the state organised Common Entrance Examination.

He said the state now has the pictures of candidates on their answer booklets in the bid to forestall cases of impersonation during the examination.

The undercover children who sat in for the examination at different centers also confirmed that there are pictures on the booklets. Unfortunately, despite this precaution, school owners induce government invigilators who aid and abet the act.

Mr. Oluremi, however, refrained from commenting on other findings presented to him. Instead, he requested for a proper interview when more evidence would be presented to him.

However, all attempts to secure another date to show the official the collage of pictures and videos captured during the course of investigation were unsuccessful. He did not respond to subsequent calls and text messages to his telephone number.

Also, Seyi Akitoye, the board’s Public Affairs Officers, who promised to notify this reporter on suitable date for the interview, never did.

Similarly, the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah, when contacted said he could not comment on the findings as he was out of the country at the time.

Way Forward

Ms Bammeke, the sociology professor, believes that children need be carried along in advocacy against examination malpractice. She said this is necessary so that children can serve as a checkmate for parents who are likely to encourage such.

Another way to curtail examination fraud, the professor said, is for the media to continuously report the matter.

“The media can organise studies without declaring what they are doing. Observe an exam setting, record an examination setting and come up with findings and publicise it. The media has a role to play. The media must not compromise,” she says.

She also urged the government to put in place policies that would check corruption within the education system.

“There is a malpractice law. But it is not just the law; the law must be applied. We hear reports of examination malpractice, but we rarely hear of people who were imprisoned for malpractice. They law must be applied and we must make examples of people.

“It is sad that the way people feel shame now is disappearing. People flaunt negative behaviors and they get applauded because they do not question the means through which they have achieved their success. However, there will be change if we involve local communities and begin to shame people and stigmatise them.”

Similarly, Mr Makanju, the psychology professor, puts the onus of ensuring the integrity of the education system on the “grown-ups” who are expected to know better.

“We have to intentionally realise that we have done a lot of damage in the past to those immediately around us and to the larger society, because we fail to uphold the straight and narrow path and inculcate it in our children,” he said.

He added that for corruption in the education sector to be mitigated; the government must pay attention to education at all levels.

“There must be severe punishment for those who engage in malpractice. Anything that impinges on the moral upbringing of the younger generation, in such a way that the society pays a heavier burden in the future, should not be condoned at all,” Mr Makanju said.

Mr Onyenchere of the Exams Ethics Marshal Board warned that for any changes to be effective in the education sector, the government must not politicise appointments into the sector. He argued that the education sector is the foundation for all other sectors, hence the need to recruit the best hands.

”We need to clean the education sector for us to get a proper result, before we are able to make progress in the general fight against corruption,” he said.

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