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WAEC Impounds 93 Certificates Over Examination Malpractice As 2 Confiscated Certificates Obtained 41 Years Ago

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The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has wielded the big stick by impounding 93 certificates belonging to candidates who wrote the council’s exams years back but were later found wanting.

The candidates who wrote the May/June and Nov/Dec SSCE or WASSCE were found to have cheated many years ago when they sat for the examinations.

The decision to confiscate the 93 certificates was taken at the Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) meeting in Lagos based on evidence such as confessional statement from such candidates.

A breakdown indicates that four candidates wrote the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), 79 sat for the Nov/Dec WASSCE and 10 wrote the May/June WASSCE.

Two of the certificates were issued 41 years ago (197, one, 40 years ago (1979) and the three candidates sat for the Nov/Dec SSCE.

Analysis of the 93 certificates revealed that two candidates had three certificates each impounded for different years and two others had two certificates each seized for examination malpractice.

Details of the impounded certificates revealed that 1995 and 2001 has the highest with 14 certificates each, 1994 and 2000 has 11, 1989 and 1990 recorded five each, 1992, 1994, 2002 and 2003 with four each, 1978, 1986, 1991 and 2007 has two and one each for 1979, 1981, 1987, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2013 and 2015.

DECISIONS OF WAEC 66th NEC MEETING

The committee, which is the highest decision-making organ of WAEC on examination-related matters in Nigeria, meets twice a year, to consider matters relating to the conduct of WASSCE for school candidates and private candidates. Its statutory chairman is the Chief Federal Government Nominee on council.

Membership of NEC comprises four representatives each, of the state Ministries of Education and the Department of Education of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, ANCOPSS and the universities. It also includes the Registrar to Council, the Head of the Nigeria National Office, the Head of the Test Development Division (TDD) and the Head of the Test Administration Division (TAD) of the council.

The communique said the 66th NEC meeting received reports on irregularity, special and clemency cases arising from the conduct of the WASSCE for private candidates, 2017 and the WASSCE for private candidates, 2018-First Series, earlier considered at the 65th meeting of the committee.

The committee considered special cases, clemency appeals from WASSCE for school candidates, 2018 and restitution cases as well as impounded certificates for various years. NEC observed that even with the commendable efforts of the council in the fight against examination malpractice, the menace is still on the increase and called on all stakeholders to intensify their efforts in the fight against examination fraud.

Also, NEC decried the high rate of impersonation as a form of examination malpractice in school candidates’ examinations and called on school principals to check the ugly trend and urged the state ministries of education to look at the caliber and integrity of teachers nominated as supervisors for public examinations.

The committee commended the council for ensuring that examination cheats do not get away with their nefarious activities by deploying cutting-edge technology and putting in place several mechanisms to detect and forestall examination malpractice.

Speaking on the confiscated certificates, the Proprietor of Focus International School, Abeokuta, Chief Lanre Ogunjobi, wondered why it took WAEC long to discover that the candidates engaged in examination malpractice and urged the council to devise means of tracking those involved in exam fraud rather than wait that long to impound the certificates.

Ogunjobi said some of the candidates would have used the statement of results to acquire higher degrees or gain employment and asked ‘’I wondered why it took WAEC long to detect the fraud. WAEC should not just impound the certificate but prosecute the candidates found wanting.’’

The educationist advised WAEC to properly monitor the Nov/Dec WASSCE since the bulk of the impounded certificates wrote the private candidate examinations.

A retired teacher, Mrs. Joke Taiwo commended WAEC for detecting the cheats at the point of collecting their certificates, insisting that those found wanting should be exposed via publications in the newspapers.

‘’The seizure of the 93 certificates after several years the candidates committed the fraud is an indication that no matter how long it takes for them to evade detection, the long arm of the law have finally caught up with them’’, she added.

How WAEC DETECTED THE FRAUD

Giving insight how the council impounds certificates, Head, Public Affairs of WAEC, Mr. Demianus Ojijeogu said it was at the point of collection of the certificates that some of the candidates were caught.

Ojijeogu explained that some of the candidates after years of writing the examination visited their various offices to collect the certificate but when asked by WAEC official to write ‘original copy collected by me’, he said they couldn’t write it even with good grades in some subjects.

Said he:‘’Once a candidate can not write original copy collected by me, the WAEC official will question him or her. The candidate after being quizzed will confess that he/she cheated during the examination. Such candidates will be made to write a confessional statement and it will be attached to the certificate for NEC deliberation and decision.

‘’Some candidates take time to come forward for their certificates. Those that cheated will think the council has forgotten and after years, they will appear in our office to pick up the certificate and they will be caught and the certificate will be impounded.

‘’It is not possible for WAEC to catch every candidate cheating during examination. It is at the point of collecting their certificate that some of them are exposed. We have deployed an Item Differential Profile in exam halls, it can detect collusion cases. When every candidate is failing the same question, that is 80 per cent of candidates failing a particularly question, it is mass collusion.

‘’We want the various state governments to partner with WAEC to build exam centres; this will help us to monitor candidates during the exam. For the school exam (May/June WASSCE), we have over 1.6million candidates every year writing the exam. We are also thinking of building exam halls for use by private candidates during Nov/Dec WASSCE.’’

According to him, people also come forward to allege they wrote exam for someone and the council will conduct investigation into his/her claim, adding ‘’if we done have enough evidence to nail the candidate, we allow the candidate go’’.

Source: www.sunnewsonline.com/waec-impounds-93-certificates-over-examination-malpractice/

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