Exam Malpractice: FG Begins Crackdown On ‘Miracle Centres’ - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Exam Malpractice: FG Begins Crackdown On ‘Miracle Centres’

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu 


ABUJA - The federal government has launched a clampdown on all ‘miracle centres’ aiding examination malpractice in the country.

Permanent secretary in federal ministry of Education, Sunny Echono, disclosed this yesterday during a tour of some schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to access the ongoing West African Examinations Council (WAEC) examination.

Echono warned students and supervisors to disengage in examination malpractice, vowing that government will ensure all the ‘miracle centres’ in the country are eliminated.

“We are also eliminating anything miracle centres. COVID-19 has helped because with the reduction in numbers too, we are no longer having the physical cheating where students are so many that one or two supervisors cannot be able to effectively cover”, he noted.

On the issue of exam leakages, the perm sec said government was working with all the relevant agencies to ensure that fraudulent activities are no longer in the system.

He stated: “Previously, attempts were made to try and get access to these questions before the date of the exam. Now, anybody who does that is wasting their time because we have moved our timing and we have secured the exams such that the papers do not leak.

“There is no such thing about anybody getting access to any question and that is why those who fraudulently want to benefit from this were disappointed because when you go there on the date of exam you discover the questions are completely different. A few Nigerians are taking advantage of innocent people and the market that exist for it”.

He lamented that some schools across the country were not doing as well as government expect, even as he urged them to up their game as prevention remain the only and most effective weapon against the pandemic.

While commending the level of compliance in the schools visited, Echono noted that government was also carrying out a major review of all the tiers of educational system to see how it can gradually begin to reopen.

Earlier, the head of WAEC national office, Patrick Areghan, revealed that the Council has arrested two supervisors in Bauchi and Nasarawa States respectively as well as one student in Port Harcourt who tried to undermine the integrity of its ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Areghan also lamented that invigilators and supervisors were conniving with candidate to promote exam malpractice.

He said, “We have arrested some and today it is going to be a harvest of arrest. In Bauchi we arrested a supervisor; in Nasarawa we arrested a supervisor and in Port Harcourt we arrested a candidate.

“I must use this opportunity to say that the invigilators and supervisors are not on our side. They take sides with the candidate. We say don’t allow any candidate to come in with their handset but they close their eyes and allow them to come in. This is what they use to snap questions and post them on designated WhatsApp groups, not that there is anything called leakage.”

He also stressed that the reported cases of COVID-19 of students writing WAEC in some parts of the country were carried out before the commencement of the exam.

“So what is coming out now is just the result of those tests, not that new cases are emerging in the examination Hall”, he added.

He said the Council currently lacks man power to match up with the number of centres across the country.

"WAEC staff are just 2000; we can’t cover over 19,129 centres. So, we rely on the teachers nominated by the various ministries of Education to supervise. There are supposed to be men and women of integrity but 99 per cent of supervisors as we are seeing now are engaged.”

The schools visited during the tour included, Federal Government College, Apo, Abuja, Government Secondary School, Garki and Funtaj International School, Apo.

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