Posted by News Express | 22 April 2017 | 2,353 times
Since West African Examination Council (WAEC) started in March there have been reports and complaints about the rate at which students lay their hands on answers long before the examinations start. Subjects like English, Maths and Biology are the ones mostly leaked beforehand. Candidates could be seen huddling together in broad daylight in front of their schools sharing already prepared answers to question.
Exam malpractice is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria especially when it comes to general examinations like the WAEC or the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations. There are frequent cases of students getting the question papers before the exams even starts. These have been a major worry for both the examination boards and parents alike.
This year’s WAEC examination is not different. From our investigations, it shows that there is a big spike in the level of malpractice. A parent who took his child to the examination centre for the English paper lamented at the level of malpractice going on.
“This year is really bad. The results were everywhere even before the exams started. I am not talking of the objective here, even the comprehension was all out. Sadly, everything is shared freely without anyone doing anything about it. It is really bad this year,” the parent who is a journalist says.
Our correspondents who also went out to observe examination centers uncovered that there are indeed cases where students get to have answers to the examination questions before they sit for it.
Speaking with a teacher in a secondary school in Ikosi, Lagos and pleads for anonymity, she confirms that since WAEC started this year, there has been numerous cases of leakages of question papers. According to her, some teachers are part of the problem. “Some mornings, you will see teachers, in the office with the question papers, answering the questions. I don’t know what they are getting from the students to do that. Probably they are being paid by the parents.”
The teacher however puts more of the blame on the Examination Council for not properly monitoring the questions before they get to the exam halls. “I know they (WAEC) are doing their best, but they can do more. It is not a new thing that questions leak, but by now, all that should have reduced. This year is worse,” she says.
The complaints came to a peak on Thursday, 13th of this month when students sat for the English Language exams. As at 7am in the morning, the questions were on the street “like pure water,” as a student puts it. Same goes for other subjects including Maths and Biology.
On the other end, WAEC are claiming that there are no leakages in WAEC questions. They have denied allegations that the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination question papers have been leaked.
When confronted with reports of mass leak of English Language, Demianus Ojijeogu, Head, Public Affairs WAEC Nigeria, in a telephone interview with Independent said there was nothing of such. He said what the council saw were people posting on websites after the examination had commenced. He said maybe someone had smuggled it out of the examination hall.
“Nothing like that happened. What we saw was that people posting it on some website after the examination has commenced, that means one person might have smuggled it out of the examination hall on that day after the examination has already commenced,” Ojijeogu says.
He also explained that the exams were well monitored both physically and online. “We did not experience any leakage in any of the papers, there is nothing like that. We are monitoring the examination both online and physically, there is nothing like that, please ignore it, it is not true,” he added.
Though there are denials by WAEC, there are many who confirm the leakages of question papers. Also, schools keep quiet on the issue and refuse to speak.
Oladimeji Clegg, a private school owner we spoke with attributed the cause of the leaks to poverty. “It is not WAEC or JAMB’s fault that questions leak. They have nothing to gain and everything to lose if questions leak. Their credibility is on the line, but they cannot be everywhere. Imagine someone who is not well paid and have family issues to solve and he has question papers at his disposal and can make money from it, what do you think he will do?” he said.
Clegg however asks the examination body to put in tighter restriction and security on who and where the question papers are kept. (Independent)