Adopt Technology To Address Examination Malpractice – President Buhari Tells WAEC
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the West African Examination Council (WAEC), to adopt the use of advanced technological innovation to resolve the rising incidence of examination malpractice and to reposition the WAEC curriculum.
Speaking during the formal opening of WAEC’s 70th Annual Council Meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, President Buhari while commending WAEC on the implementation of technology for its digital certification, biometric and online registration, however, maintained that examination bodies in Nigeria and the African sub region must move towards the next level of technological advancement to ensure economic growth.
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According to him, adopting an online examination system could help to also reduce current overall logistics cost and also help bridge distance barriers, the president pleaded with the council to do more in the aspect of technological advancement.
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari stressed on the need to encourage teaching of core skills beyond the paper and pen surface, so as to be equipped for the global economy.
He said: “WAEC Curriculum and teaching must be designed to support this cause as this is the Africa we dream of, an Africa that breeds well classified strong people and innovative entrepreneurs.”
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who expressed displeasure over what he described as “the endemic phenomenon of examination malpractice,” urged the Council not to relent in its efforts in evolving strategies and initiatives that would eliminate the menace which was affecting credibility of West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
While assuring the Council of the needed support to improve its services and maintain the quality and credibility of its examinations, the Minister commended WAEC for consistently taking advantage of developments in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), especially in easing its examination related operations “such as the electronic registration platform for both the school and private candidates examinations as well as hosting of result.
“I am also aware that your results are being released ahead of schedule and certificates are now printed within 45 days of the release of results. These are, indeed, landmark achievements and giant steps in the right direction.”
Chairman of Council, Prof. Ago Essuman, who worried that public examinations had become a thorn in the flesh of examining bodies in the sub-region, noted that the perpetrators were becoming more daring and innovative.
“Examination agencies are beginning to appreciate how ill-equipped we are to address examination malpractice, reflected in inappropriate behaviour such as cheating, bribery, misuse of results, collusion with other candidates and supervisors, collaboration by parents and teachers, as well as obtaining information from external sources by various means, including by modern technology.”
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On his part, the WAEC Registrar, Mr. Pateh Bah, disclosed that the management was “striving within the limits of available resources to step up the acquisition of cutting edge gadgets and software to check examination fraud and bring all the offices to comparable levels in the deployment of technology.”