The West African Examinations Council (WAEC), known for its commitment to maintaining the integrity of its exams, has made a bold move against examination malpractice. This comes less than a week after the Council warned rogue website operators about their unscrupulous activities.
In a recent development, a proprietor of a private school in Ogun State has been detained by the Ogun State Police Command for posting exam questions online. The individual may face charges related to aiding examination malpractice, setting a strong precedent for future offenders.
As the school examinations approached, Mr. Patrick Areghan, the Head of the Nigeria National Office (HNO), issued a stern warning to those who operate rogue websites that the Council would not tolerate their unethical activities. “We are perfecting strategies as usual, with all relevant security agencies to checkmate these fraudsters and bring them to book. There will be no hiding place for them,” he cautioned.
According to sources, the proprietor posted a practical exam question online on Thursday. However, WAEC officials were able to trace the question back to him due to the unique security number embedded in every question paper—a sophisticated anti-cheating measure employed by the Council.
A senior WAEC staff who wished to remain anonymous told newsmen, “The proprietor did not know that each question has a hidden security code. That is how our officials traced him and handed him over to the police. We will jail him.”
This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of ethical conduct in the education sector. The unlawful act by the proprietor not only undermines the integrity of the examination process but also impacts the students’ learning experiences negatively.
This year, approximately 1,621,853 candidates from 20,851 secondary schools are participating in the May/June 2023 WASSCE. The exams, which started on Monday, May 8th, will continue until June 23rd, 2023.
In light of this incident, it is critical for all stakeholders in the education sector, including students, teachers, school proprietors, and parents, to adhere strictly to examination rules and regulations. Efforts should be focused on encouraging learning and knowledge acquisition, rather than promoting shortcuts and unethical practices.
Let’s remember that education is not merely about passing exams, but about acquiring knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will be beneficial throughout one’s life. Upholding the integrity of examinations is a shared responsibility that we all must take seriously.
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