Tuesday, 26 November 2019

WAEC Exam Malpractice: Princewill Odidi, others threaten to petition Nigeria to UNESCO


L-R: UNESCO logo, President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Ben Ayade 
26 November 2019 

Nigeria is likely to be dragged before the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO if concerted efforts are not made to deliberately address the alarming spate of examination malpractice(s) in primary and secondary schools in the country NEGROIDHAVEN has confirmed. 

This development is coming against the backdrop of the embarrassing trend reportedly going on in especially secondary schools across Nigeria where students who are ready for the West African Examination Council's Senior School Certificate Examinations (WAEC SSCE) are allegedly demanded by the secondary school authority to pay a certain 'logistics fee' as one of the unofficial conditions for eligibility to sit for the examination. 

The said logistics fee which has been discovered to be an illegal fee collected to encourage examination malpractice during the academic exercise is collected to compromise visiting supervisors and syndicates to the various examination centres. 

Princewill Odidi together with a handful of yet-to-be identified concerned Nigerians have already petitioned the state and federal governments to effect a total stop to the ugly trend. The group in their petition has requested that erring teachers and principals of secondary schools should be arrested and subsequently prosecuted. According to Odidi, failure on the part of government to consider their plea will compel them to petition Nigeria to the UNESCO, damning the consequences. Odidi is of the conviction that the trend undermines hard work. 

Odidi's words in part, 'Together with other concerned Nigerians we have petitioned both the state and federal government to bring a stop to malpractice fees charged to children in secondary schools to help them cheat in exams. 

'We have also requested to the government to arrest and prosecute every principal and school authority involved in making our children grow up with the mentality that hard work does not pay. 

'We have given government a timeframe to act. Failure to comply and stop this menace we plan to petition the matter to UNESCO of the United Nations. We all know what damage that will bring to Nigeria's educational system and our awarded degrees.'

Odidi who observed that at this time they are not concerned with cheating and malpractice in universities, but at primary and secondary school levels where the acts must stop added that 'Basic education is actually a fundamental human rights at United Nations. Our children have the right to basic education. Let all concerned Nigerians join us to at least return sanity to education at primary and secondary levels. We cannot start incubating and grooming children into corruption, this is a national embarrassment. Collecting malpractice fees from children to help them pass WAEC must stop', he concluded.

Other Nigerians corroborated Odidi. Others proceeded to expose other dimensions of the practice. For instance, Egbe Assam informed that 'I can still remember some time ago, my younger brother called me and was asking for logistics fee, when I asked him to explain, he said, the fee is to bribe external supervisors so that there will be able to cheat during exams. The truth about this is that school owners are using this measure to attract candidates'. One William Duke Anthony was even daring when he said 'WAEC registration has started. I can send you a list of schools and principals already collecting logistics fees'. Eni Alobo a university teacher revealed that 'There is another dimension to this exam malpractice menace. There are some special schools around the state where pupils are registered for WAEC basically because of they will be aided to pass the exams. Some of these schools are special centres of corruption. I know a student who paid for the WAEC fee, uniform, three term fee and monies for exam malpractice. In some extreme cases, the student may not even enter the exam hall. It is indeed saddening.' On his part, Rashidi Ubi said 'The first and the last time I supervised WAEC in 2011, I had issues with proprietors and principals of public schools. In fact there was a school I personally petitioned to WAEC about chronic malpractice.The proprietor with his boys stole some of the answer scripts waec gave me, immediately I got to custodian center I put up a strong petition. I was later told that the proprietor has strong contact with waec office in Lagos'.

However, one Victor Awusa explained that 'This petition can only hold water, if and only if, the teaching learning environment is given top most priority, that is, revamping the school system where learners compete and boast of and for knowledge... I want it to be looked at in three dimensions: 1) only ill prepared students, will easily subscribe to this compliant fee... 2) only a corrupt minded learner won't want to read for both knowledge and examination because there's an option via compliant fee, this too could be handled in the classroom as an aspect of morality... 3) only parents who haven't been involved in the proper teaching learning process of their subjects will readily submit to the idea of compliant fee to pass examination...'

Eau Ad was exhaustive in his commentary on the subject. According to him, 'This problem is not as superficial as imagined here. It is a deep rooted issue whose solution goes further than thisq simple querry which is what we campaigned on. First of all, the system needs more than an exam malpractice addressing. And it's not true that parents are causing this. The system is causing it. Be informed that if u don't pay that fee,  some schools actually stop you from taking the exams. I had a ward who was kept out of exam hall until 30 minutes to the end of the paper. So exams others spent 2 hours to take were taken under an hour by my ward. Thank God she passed it, albeit with a weak grade. 

'Secondly, most of the current teachers in our schools went thru that system. So it's now time for them to benefit from the roth-see why they punish any student who is determined to write from their heads? Secondly, truth is some teachers are bad, mentally! I engaged a lot during my governorship campaign.  Would you be surprised if I surmise here that more than 3 quarters of govt appointees were products of this system? Do you read what they write and listen to them speak? And they do this shamelessly. Worst of all, they're really not ready to learn. Engage the teachers of this system. You'll weep for them. They neither know enough nor present themselves well for any purpose. Now, these are our children's teachers. And it gets worse by each passing day.

'Thirdly, the system rewards laziness. How many pple in that govt in the first tenure were cerebral and sound? When quality is tossed to the side, vagabonds and mediocres are employed. What good policy can those thugs and machete-wielding appointees produce for a stellar society desired? These and many more are reasons I feel the problem is so much more intrusive and so requiring a deeper surgical solution than we may imagine'.

Ugbe Emmanuel who expressed delight at the development to curb the ugly trend said that 'What are we suppose to do... I am so excited to be part of this cause.'

Odid has informed that there is a plan to recruit the services of whistle blowers and investigators who will monitor incoming exams 'to help us build our case.'



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