Delta Government has commenced the training of 571 teachers, school heads and personnel of the State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, some boards and agencies on examination ethics.
Dr Chiedu Ebie, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, declared the two-day’s workshop open on Monday in Asaba.
Ebie represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Samuel Dieteke, said the aim of the workshop was to promote best practices in the education sector.
He also said that the training was aimed at optimising performance of teachers to enhance teaching and learning in schools.
He said that the state government had put in place an inter-ministerial exam ethics committee to investigate all cases of examination misconduct brought before it in both internal and external examinations.
The training was organised by the state government in partnership with the Exam Ethics Marshals International (EEMI).
The commissioner said that the training and other issues were among decisions reached at the 2016 Education Summit, organized by the state government to address the teething challenges in the sector.
He said that the recommendation at the summit led to the establishment of Teachers Professional Development Centre (TRDC) in Owa-Oyibu, Ika North East Local Government Area of the state.
Ebie said construction works were ongoing at the centre, but government had commenced interim training programmes, adding that approval had been given for the training of 6,504 teachers and educationists.
The commissioner said that approval had also been given for the teaching of four courses in the programme.
He said: “If any government must make a mark in the education sector, it must address the plethora of challenges facing teachers and teaching.
“Some of these challenges include low motivation, lack of regular training and retraining, general low quality and negative mindset, absence of teaching facilities among others.
“Today course TPDC 041(Exams Ethics) is to train 571 participants while courses TPDC 001 (Mindset Change for Teaching Profession) will train 1,400 participants.
“Also, TPDC 003 (Curriculum Leadership and Implementation Strategies) is for 1,533 participants and TPDC 013 (Induction Training for New and Adjunct Teaching Staff) will train 3,000 participants”.
The commissioner while appreciating the governor for the training thanked the partner and charged the participants to take it seriously and become examination ethics ambassadors and live above board.
In a remark, Prof. Abednego Ekoko, former Vice Chancellor, Delta State University, Abraka, said governments and development partners were making efforts to ensure quality education.
The Chairman, Board of Trustee, EEMI, said the efforts were in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) on Quality Education through various initiatives.
He said that the efforts could only become fruitful if all the stakeholders adhered to the tenets of exam ethics.
Ekoko said EEMI believed that unless the moral foundation of education was rebuilt and strengthened, other efforts towards improving education quality in line with the SDG might not achieve sustainable success.
Also, the Founder, EEMI, Ike Onyechere, in a lecture titled “Examination Malpractice and Academic Dishonesty: Challenge of Collective Responsibility”, said that the consequences of examination malpractices were grievous.
Onyechere commended Delta government for its education reforms, adding that they were aimed at delivering and promoting the quality of education in line with UN SDGs.
“But these reforms can only happen if we have an environment of exam ethics, integrity and best practices and the objectives can only be archived if we strengthen the morals infrastructure of education,” he said.
He, however, tasked the teachers to wake up to their responsibilities because their actions and inactions were responsible to building or destroying the society and the economy of the nation.
He said that teachers who licensed quacks in the medical, engineering and other professions were today responsible for the killings through wrong prescriptions and building collapse, among other societal challenges.
In an interview with NAN, two of the participants, Mr Obi Oputa, and Mrs Victory, Uweh, commended Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa for the training.
They pledged to imbibe the tenets of exams ethics and to replicate it in their daily activities as teachers.