Ekiti state is determined to uplift Education in all sectors. This is what prompted the Governor into inaugurating a Task Force / Visitation Panel to all sectors of Education in February 2011.
Immediately after this was, the Education Summit which took place from May 4 – 5, 2011. One of the key issues tackled at the Summit was the issue of examination malpractice. Series of reasons were adduced for this and several suggestions were made on how to tackle this menace.
On Mr. Governor’s prompting, we held a meeting on May 26, 2011 with stake holders in Education, in particular Principals of Public Schools, Area Education officers, Directors in the Ministry, Proprietors of Private Schools, ANCOPPS, NUT, AOPSHON and others on the issue of examination Malpractice. At that meeting we identified the causes, how to tackle them and sanctions to be meted out to erring students and officials. We informed the house of the current administration’s ZERO TOLERANCE FOR EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE and everyone promised to abide by this. It is an approved document that we have circulated.
One of the sanctions approved is that anyone caught in any shape or form after investigation will be charged to court and prosecuted to the full extent of the Law. We also agreed that any school involved with examination malpractice will be shut down for a minimum of 3 years.
One of the decisions at that meeting was the fact that Government would hold an SSS II unified examination to determine the average number of students that would be sitting for SSS III examinations the following year in both public and private Schools and also allow for benchmarking across the state. The idea is also to make sure that only candidates who qualify to write WAEC would be promoted to do so. The criterion is a minimum of 6 credits with at least a Pass grade in Mathematic and English. The reality is that some students who did not meet the minimum requirement refused to repeat in their school and sought registration in other schools.
The irony is that some who even qualified to advance to SSS III still went to other schools (miracle centres) where they feel they might have a better chance at cheating after Ekiti State had paid for their registration in those Schools. We are still trying to process a refund from WAEC to the tune of over N3m.
The situation is made worse because in spite of the fact that I approved for students to retake their examinations in their former schools, people still had the audacity to illegally register on our public schools WAEC websites. For example, in two schools where we are not presenting any candidate for WAEC, people still had the effrontery to upload names and register people for WAEC. A school at ISINBODE where we had no candidates of our own, they uploaded 119 candidates for us to administer. There is no way that I could ask my Principal to provide reagents for 119 candidates to do practical examinations when they don’t know them. The reason is that the MAY / JUNE examination for WAEC and NECO are internal examinations for students attending classes only. The prerequisite is that continuous assessment is part of what is required to take this examination. I wonder how illegal students did theirs.
This ugly situation reared its head last year and I warned the Schools involved who presented overage students for internal NECO examination. I recall that I went on TV to warn people from this. I saw candidates as old as 52 years writing this examination. I have pictorial evidence of the people involved. I warned our people that anyone caught this year will be handed over to the Police; they probably thought that I was joking or I would not be able to see through the process either due to sentiment or cheap blackmail. The reality is not that anyone cannot write any of these examinations but that only internal candidates can. Anyone outside the regular students that attend a particular school should register as external candidates for the Nov/ Dec GCE or NECO examination. These certificates are equally tenable anywhere.
What really took place is that students who could not be registered through the right process went through the back door by the collusion of Examination Registrars or Principals of Schools, some of our officials in the Ministry of Education and forged registration documents as well as obtain pins from WAEC using these documents coupled with the help of some notorious coaching centre owners and cyber-cafes uploaded illegal students additional to our regular students and those approved to retake WAEC in those schools. The sad part is that they did not do it in sensible numbers that anyone could overlook. In some schools they uploaded as many as 150 illegal students. The worst part is that students were uploaded from as far as Lagos to Ondo and Ekiti. One of the perpetrators who came from Ondo had the audacity to tell me that they could not do it in Ondo state public schools but was surprised they could do it on our public school websites last year and that since they were successful last year that is why they came back this year.
There is no way we can allow this illegality to continue. We intend to carry this investigation to its logical conclusion so that next year it will not repeat itself. This will help us achieve the following:
1. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and its Agency for Adult and Non-formal Education officials will not dare collude with anyone again after I warned them last year saying, “anyone caught will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law”. The ones we find culpable this year will face the music.
2. When we tell our children to repeat a class in order to optimize their performance in Ekiti state, they will do so quickly and quietly with dignity and self respect. Notable citizens will stop begging for us to allow them to be promoted without adequate requirements.
3. People will not have the audacity to bring external candidates to upload to our websites in both public and private schools. The focus is on public schools this year, next year by God’s grace, we are going to monitor both of them closely.
4. Our children will have a chance to excel without having their examinations withheld or spoilt because of the presence of illegal and unscrupulous candidates.
5. Coaching centres will be content to prepare students for external examinations’ and not pollute our internal candidates
6. Government on its part will no longer approve repeaters in our schools as we are going to make good the proposal to establish an Ekiti state remedial college in each local Government area. We are currently working out the modalities.
7. Registration of candidates for WAEC and NECO may no longer be given out to private cyber cafes since we cannot guarantee their cooperation or integrity.
8. More importantly we hope that our children and those responsible for them will begin to understand the value and need to study hard and do everything the right way without expecting any preferential treatment.
9. Well meaning Ekiti citizens will also understand what we are trying to achieve – RAISE THE STANDARD OF EDUCATION IN ALL SECTORS and bring back the lost glory of
Education in Ekiti state.
10. Begin to achieve our dream that Education will not only be for learning but for enlightenment and enterprise that will be both functional and sustainable.
Dr. Eniola Ajayi
Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology
Last modified: April 10, 2012