The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) said on Tuesday that mounting of public enlightenment campaigns would curb the ever-growing worrisome trends in examination irregularities.
The Registrar to the council, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, made the observation at a news conference to announce preparation for WAEC’s up-coming International Summit on Examination Malpractice in Lagos.
Uwadiae said that research studies had shown that one of the ways in curbing the ugly trend of examination malpractice was massive enlightenment campaigns.
He said that this would draw the attention of education stakeholders and the general public on the negative effects of the scourge to national development.
“As we are all aware, the most notorious challenge facing examination bodies and other educational institutions in WAEC member countries is examination malpractice.
“Currently, the malaise has assumed dangerous and criminal dimensions on the heels of some advancement in technology which created the smartphones, the social media and others.
“The council in the five member countries has introduced several measures, adopted several strategies and deployed technologies at great costs in the fight against the ever-festering menace,’’ the registrar said.
Uwadiae said that misguided candidates and their adult collaborators sometimes included school authorities, teachers, parents and most recently, operators of rogue websites.
He said that these had continued to devise ingenious and sophisticated methods of cheating, leading to an exponential increase in reported cases of fraud in public examinations.
“For instance, the May/June 1993 WASSCE in Nigeria, the result of only 58, 494 candidates were withheld because of examination malpractice.
“For the same WASSCE by candidates in 2017, the number of results similarly withheld had shot up to 214,952.
“It is as a result of this therefore that the governing board of WAEC has decided to approve the organisation of an international summit on examination malpractice.
“The summit which has the theme: “Contemporary Realities and Antidotes’’ will hold on Oct. 19 and Oct. 29 in Lagos,’’ the registrar said.
Uwadiae added that some of the speakers expected at the summit are Prof. Jonathan Fletcher from Ghana and Emeritus Prof. Pius Obanya.