Mr Nurudeen Akinwunmi, lawmaker representing Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, has urged all stakeholders in the education sector to join hands to tackle the menace of examination malpractice.
Akinwunmi made the plea during a one-day seminar on the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), organised for over 2000 candidates in the constituency preparing for the examination.
He said that the rate of examination malpractice had led to laziness among students, adversely affecting the education system.
“Everybody should be involved to address the menace of exam malpractice in this country. Parents who choose “special centres” or give money to their children to pay for “special centres” should stop it.
“It is the societal problem that we all must rise up to tackle; that we cannot leave for the government alone to solve.
“All stakeholders in the education sector – parents, schools, teachers, students and examination bodies must be involved.
“It is a problem everybody must stand up and stand to ameliorate. We can only get better in our education, if merit is given a place.
“We must continue to put in efforts towards reducing examination malpractice,” the federal lawmaker said.
Akinwunmi said that the seminar, organised to mark his first100 days in the House, was borne out of his love and passion for the future of students in the community.
“The ultimate goal of this seminar is to ensure that most, if not all, of these intending UTME candidates pass this qualifying examination.
“We have put together those who know what it takes to pass to put them through. No doubt, passing a qualifying examination requires more than being brilliant.
“There are millions of brilliant candidates out there who have sat for UTME two or three times and have not got admission.
“We want to implant in them necessary things that would make them pass UTME as education is important to human development, ‘’ he said.
Mr Olajide Jimoh, another federal lawmaker representing Lagos Mainland in the House, said at the event that education remained the best legacy to bequeath to children.
Jimoh said that Akinwunmi was giving back to his constituency what could guarantee great future for the children.
One of the facilitators, Mr Jide Johnson, Deputy Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), called on the candidates to be studious and manage their time well.
A participant, Master Isaiah Olatunji said the seminar was “quite encouraging, impressive and inspiring.”
Miss Mary Ajamu, another participant said that she had been encouraged by the seminar.
the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), had also on Thursday, expressed concern at the wave of examination malpractice, which it said, was spreading across the sub-region via websites.
The Registrar to council, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, while delivering a goodwill message at the 65th `WAEC DAY’ celebration in Lagos, said the trend was worrisome.
He noted that the scourge of examination malpractice had persisted in all member countries and the council had continued to utilise every available opportunity to discourage its “die-hard’’ perpetrators.
WAEC is a sub-regional examination body for five Anglophone countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Gambia.
“We have appealed to education stakeholders, particularly governments, to partner with the WAEC in fighting the malpractice that threatens the quality of academic attainments and manpower production in our sub-region.
“Misguided candidates furiously seek short cuts to examination success while their depraved adult collaborators carry out their damnable acts for financial rewards.
“The consequences of examination malpractice on examining bodies like WAEC are grave and worrisome.
“Apart from the damage done to our image, credibility or reputation, we waste huge resources in the fight against the evil,’’ he had said.
He appealed to stakeholders in member countries to collaborate with WAEC by ensuring zero tolerance for examination malpractice.
According to him, with such collaboration, the sub-region will begin to witness fraud-free public examination