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How staff of exam bodies, schools aid exam fraud – Report

The Sun

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

• Oby Ezekwesili, Education Minister


Chinazo Okoli


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The Education Minister, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, kept to her promise of February 26 to release the second volume of the Examination Malpractice Blacklist when on March 15, she made known names of 232 persons who aided and abetted exam fraud in public examinations, but the list contained shocking details of how the fraud was committed in the 324 schools de-recognised through those saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the examinations.

The list of 232 names, which included employees of Federal Ministry of Education (unity schools), private schools, state ministries of education and staff of examination bodies, revealed shocking details of how examination fraud was perpetrated in schools through the assistance of the named officials during the conduct of the public examinations between 2000 and 2006.

Ezekwesili stressed that the 232 officials would not serve as personnel of Federal Ministry of Education-related examinations which include the National Examinations Council (NECO), West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) and National Teachers Institute (NTI).

According to her, the process of producing the blacklisted names was painstaking, open and transparent, noting: "The examination bodies forwarded the names of exam personnel found to have compromised the integrity of the examination process as principals, teachers, supervisiors, invigilators to examiners. The names were forwarded to the Joint Action Committee on Examination Ethics and Campus Safety to undergo a process of verification and harmonization.

She encouraged state ministries of education and proprietors of schools to take further disciplinary action regarding their staff listed in the report while names of those affected have been forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

State by state analysis showed that Abia recorded 11 personnel, Adamawa 1, Akwa-Ibom 10, Anambra 31, Bayelsa 1, Bauchi 2, Benue 7, Cross River 11, Delta 6, Ebonyi 7, Edo 5, Enugu 6, Ekiti 4, FCT 4, Imo 15, Kaduna 2, Kano 4, Kebbi 4, Kogi 4, Kwara 4, Lagos 3, Nasarawa 3, Niger 1, Ogun 2, Ondo 14, Osun 4, Oyo 9, Plateau 6, Rivers 4 and Sokoto 1.

For the Federal Ministry of Education staff indicted, the 36-page report revealed how they encouraged exam fraud during public examinations, among which are aiding and abetting malpractice, mass collusion in NABTEB Business/Construction Management, failure to administer Mathematics paper 2, sexual harassment while a particular unity school in Umuahia, a staff was reported to be an accomplice in a case of malpractice as he leaked the Economics paper 2 to a student.

The 10 NABTEB officials were indicted for aiding and abetting their own examination between 2000 and 2005 while the 12 NECO officials were said to have compromised question papers, substituted scripts in the bank, examination malpractice offence and extortion of money from school during the conduct of its exam while the two NTI staffers were said to have leaked exam questions through the centre supervisor to students.

According to the report, the seven JAMB staffers were involved in examination fraud and collusion, illegal cutody of exam materials and documents, unauthorised possession of candidate photocard, inflation of UME 2004/2005 score as well as printing of result slips of the altered score and extortion of money from candidates with assurance to inflate their scores.

Shocking details of how principals, supervisors, teachers, invigilators and even school proprietors aided examination fraud was revealed in the state by state report which include the use of cribs in the exam hall, gatekeeper of a school locked out exam officials while the principal rather than intervene, threatened the inspectors, photocopied answers sold to students while some teachers contributed and disbursed "comfort" fund to supeprvisors and invigilators.

The report revealed that a proprietor of a school in Edo registered as a candidate in his school and hired different persons to write the WAEC May/June 2005. Invigilators in Anambra were caught giving assistance to candidates through touts, while in Adamawa, another invigilator was also caught swapping candidates’ answer scripts.

In Bauchi, a school supported the hiring of touts to write Physics examination for a staffer while in Benue, a teacher was caught in the staff room working Mathematics paper 2 for candidates and a supervisior was also caught dictating answers during the WAEC May/June 2004 to the students.
For a school in Cross River, an invigilator wrote the WAEC May/June 2000 exam for a candidate while a principal in Delta changed the passport photographs of candidates with those of impersonators who wrote the exam for them and a teacher was caught writing Commerce 2 exam for a candidate.
The report also revealed that an invigilator in Ebonyi connived with candidates to perpetrate exam malpractice by allowing them to copy one another and in the same state, a supervisor impersonated a candidate during NABTEB May/June 2006.

Three invigilastors in FCT were indicted for leaking WAEC May/June 2001 question paper in Agricultural Science to the candidates, in Kaduna, a supervisor arranged and secured answered questions to candidates while three supervisors in Kano tampered with the English Language questions.
A supervisor in Imo State registered for the same exam she supervised at Centre 17116 and was impersonated during the NABTEB May/June 2006, while a supervisor and invigilator in the same state aided exam malpractice in all subjects taken at the centre and another was caught collecting money from the candidates before receiving their answer scripts.

In Kebbi, a teacher dictated Biology 2 answer to the candidates, while a supervisor during the NECO Nov/Dec 2005 solved question on the chalkboard for students to copy; in Kwara, another supervisor was caught during Commerce 1 & 2 and also could not account for four question papers as well as seven answer booklets. In Lagos, a teacher coordinated the circulation of photocopied answers to candidates in the exam hall while a supervisor in another college allowed mass collusion in Business/Construction Management.

Other shocking details include a supervisor in Niger State who was caught selling question papers on the day of Mathematics, in Nasarawa, an invigilator worked out answers for Mathematics 2 and in the same state, a teacher was caught writing answers on the blackboard for students to copy in Agricultural Science 2.

The report said a supervisor in Ondo requested the WAEC staff on inspection to swap scripts for some candidates, another collected gratification of N3,000 from candidates, released question papers to the Asssitant Head Boy, while a teacher was caught trying to smuggle in Economics 1 worked objective answers and in Osun, a centre supervisor aided and abetted the candidates to cheat in Economics 2.
The President of All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Chief Nzemeka Olisah, said the body is in support of the release of the 232 names indicted and that the initiative would go a long way in helping to strengthen the machinery and enforce the law on exam fraud.
While the Regristrar of Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Mr. A.M. Ciwar, said the presentation of exam malpractice blacklist 11 has demonstrated the resolve and commitment of the minister to stamp out all forms of exam fraud in the system and to reposition the education sector for efficient, transparent and functional service delivery.

The Asssitant Secretary of National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), Mr. Adaji Yinusa, lauded the release of the names of officials indicted and pledged the support and cooperation of the association with relevant stakeholders in ensuring the eradication of exam malpractice in the school system.

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