West African Examinations Council, WAEC proclaim that examination malpractice as been one of the greatest challenges faced. See details below.
The Registrar of the foremost examination body, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Lagos that malpractice had the tendency to mar the entire examination processes.
He explained that the examination process starts from the commissioning of item writers, moderating of items, printing of questions and at the tail end and administering.
The whole process could be compromised when there is leakage of examination papers, either through stealing of the papers or direct leakage of the questions.
“And when there is a leakage, the entire processes involved in the production of the question paper for that subject are gone; you have to start all over again because WAEC does not compromise.
“If we confirm leakage, we cancel that examination. If you do it 10 times, we will cancel it 10 times.
“And you know that our questions are taken in the five member countries, so if it happens in one country, it means all the other countries will be affected, especially in this age of technology.
“So you cannot take anything for granted,” he explained.
Uwadiae said that in recent times, the council has been conducting hitch-free examinations because of the cutting-edge technology it has put in place.
In dealing with culprits of examination malpractice, the Registrar said that although there were penalties, WAEC does not have power to prosecute them.
“WAEC does not really have a role to play, apart from if anything of such happen; leakage or any other exam malpractice related cases, we report to the Police.
“And the Police will take it up from there; so ours is just to monitor to see the process.
He said the council had a very vibrant legal department, but could not prosecute.
“Except one case that happened some few years back that was taken to its logical conclusion and the people involved were convicted, other cases are still pending.
“The cases are not dead but they are pending.
“That is why we, as an organisation, are more interested in preventing it (malpractice) happening.
“It is very expensive to prevent because if a paper leaked, we are going to spend a huge sums of money to reprint.
At the council level, he said there was a committee saddled with responsibility of penalising or vindicating alleged examination malpractice by candidates.
According to him, members of the committee, which meets twice a year to treat all cases with exhibits, comprised of all stakeholders in the education sector. (NAN)