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10 Oct 2017

How Fraudsters Carry Guns, Chemical Into Exam Halls - WAEC Registrar Raises Alarm

The Registrar of West African Examinations Council has revealed the unbelievable things students do when they come to sit for their exams.
Illustrative photo
Dr. Uyi Uwadiae, the Registrar of West African Examinations Council (WAEC), has painted a worrisome dimension examination malpractice has assumed in the country with candidates and agents desperate to perpetuate the act.

According to The Sun News, Dr. Uwadiae revealed that examination fraudsters now carry guns and chemical to examination centres to either to kill or maim invigilators or supervisors who attempt to stop them from cheating.

The Registrar who briefed newsmen in Lagos on the forthcoming International Summit on Examination Malpractice, said the trend is common in the private candidate examination, Nov/Dec West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

His words: "Examination malpractice is taking a new dimension as the lives of WAEC staff are being threatened. Those involved in exam fraud come to the centres with guns, special for private candidate examination.

‘’For school candidate examination, May/June WASSCE, some the candidates or their agents come with chemical weapon or drugs to put into the drinks of invigilators or supervisors. One day, they will poison the drinks or water of invigilators or supervisors. We are worried about this new development. They may graduate from drugging to kill. ’’

Despite the increase in withheld and cancelled results, the registrar the council is winning the war against examination malpractice stating ’’we have mechanism to detect examination malpractice. Our aim is to prevent exam fraud and certainly, we are winning the war.’’

On the forthcoming event, Dr. Uwadiae, said the International summit on examination malpractice would involve stakeholders in education sector in the five member countries of WAEC – The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

He disclosed that the Governing Board of WAEC approved the organization of an International Summit on Examination Malpractice with the theme “Examination Malpractice: The Contemporary Realities and Antidotes”. The keynote address will be delivered by emeritus Prof Pius Augustine Ike Obanya.

Other Speakers include, Prof Jonathan A. Fletcher (Ghana) on “Examination Malpractice: A Threat to National Development”, Prof Jonas A. S. Redwood Sawyerr (Sierra Leone) on “Technology and Examination Malpractice”. Barrister S. P. Binga (ICPC, Nigeria) on “Statutory Provisions Against Examination Malpractice”. Prof Pierre Gomez (The Gambia) on “International Collaborations in Curbing Examination Malpractice”.

Said Uwadiae: ‘’ As you are all aware, the most notorious challenge facing examining 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, etc.

‘’The council, in the five member countries, has introduced several measures, adopted various strategies and deployed technologies at great costs in the fight against the ever-festering menace. Misguided candidates and their adult collaborators, sometimes including school authorities, teachers, parents and, most recently, operators of rogue websites, have continued to devise ingenious and sophisticated methods of cheating leading to an exponential increase in reported cases of fraud in public examinations.

‘’For instance, in the May/June 1993 WASSCE in Nigeria, the results of only 58,494 candidates were withheld because of examination malpractice, but by WASSCE for school candidates, 2017 the number of candidates’ results similarly withheld had shot up to 214,952.

‘’Research studies have shown that one of the ways of curbing the worrisome trends in examination irregularities is the mounting of public enlightenment campaigns to draw attention of the stakeholders in education and the general public to the negative effects of examination malpractice on national development’’.

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