Registrar of the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, has lamented the rate at which students, parents and mercenaries connive before and during examinations to cheat.
Uwadiae, who described it as alarming, warned that if stakeholders do not urgently arrest the trend, it would erode the future of our students.
The Registrar who spoke in Lagos during a media parley with editors to laud the virtues and achievements of the President of Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, said: “There is no short cut to success, if you prepare, you will pass your examination.”
He noted that in the last four years, no Nigerian student has made first position in African examinations.
“In the last four years, when we did the global excellence awards and put all the results of students together, Ghana, which is not up to a state in Nigeria, has been taking the first, second and third positions except last year when Nigeria came second, while Ghana still emerged first and third.
“We feel pained and disturbed. If we just say ours is to give out the questions, conduct the exams and mark the scripts, people will ask after some years what we did to arrest the downward trend. We want all hands to be on deck to let them know that there is no short cut to success. If you prepare, you will make it. If you read, you will pass,” he said.
Uwadiae, however, pointed out that some people who call themselves mercenaries are misleading the students. According to him, “these people would promise to give students questions for each examination, but unknown to the innocent candidates, they are fake question papers. These people do them more harm than good.”
He said that there are some faceless individuals, especially since the introduction of social media, who make money from students through the sale of fake WAEC question and answer papers. Surprisingly, he noted that many parents are involved.
“Many parents go to any length to get question papers for their children before examination. The same parents will be looking for examiners who will give them scripts to assist their children pass.”
He said it beats his imagination how students raise such huge amounts of money to obtain the so-called question papers, adding that it is ridiculous for somebody to have a WAEC certificate and yet cannot spell his father’s name correctly. “Can you blame WAEC for that? No,” he said.
Uwadiae, who described exam malpractice as terror, urged the government to label those who aid and abet it as terrorists.
Against this backdrop, he disclosed that on October 19 and 20, the Council will be bringing stakeholders from member-countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia to present papers, rub minds together and share experiences from their various countries; adding that media correspondents will be allowed to participate in the international examination summit slated for this month in Nigeria.
He said: “If this is the only way we can sensitise the public to know some of the tricks WAEC candidates use these days, maybe the innocent ones they want to recruit will be liberated. We need that very urgently. Sensitising the public “We are doing what we are supposed to do. We are bringing the venue of the meeting here because we have the population in Nigeria. If we keep quiet concerning the education sector, no one will do it for us.”
Explaining the difference between WAEC and JAMB examinations, he said: “The examinations conducted by WAEC rely on valid and reliable tests. It is achievement test and not selection test. We test the achievements of candidates at the senior secondary school level. When candidates pass WAEC, they say we have dealt with WAEC, but when they fail, they say WAEC failed me. WAEC scores you based on what you wrote.”