POWERED BY JONATHAN HINDOLO KURABU, D CATALYST
The precision of the ACC’s Scorpion Squad in recent times has unearthed dubious coordinated syndicates of exam malpractices in the ongoing WASSCE exams across the country.
Well it is not much to the amazement of us since this has been the celebrated Order of the day in connivance with some top school authorities, parents, Pupils and some ingenious Staff of the West African Examination Council.
Of consternation however, is the pervasiveness of the coordinated syndicates in almost every part of the country. The Scorpion Squad did nab some in Freetown and elsewhere but guess what?, it is still happening behind closed doors in Freetown and elsewhere. This statement is supportive of and further serves as a compliment or testament of the recent arrest of some pupils again at the Agape School in Goderich by the Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Education barely weeks after ACC tested their New strategy of publicly parading suspects. It did not bode well in some quarters but it achieved its purpose and further reinforces the notion of how corruption fights back.
What massage is this sending? It underscores the declining nature of education in a nation once known as the Athens of West Africa which has now been relegated to the abyss of academic advancement. It’s sad, very appalling to say the least. Some pupils who surreptitiously meander their way into our tertiary institutions would use unlawful means to graduate and to the dismay of society become unemployable simply because they can’t defend their degrees. Garbage in, garbage out.
On a critical note, what could have possibly revved the escalating tensions of exam malpractices in the country? With corruption firmly rooted and entrenched in our country, our children become beneficiaries of corrupt practices when they are illegally promoted from Nursery grades leapfrogging them from Grades 1,2-3. The parents will continue this inducement strategy to gain promotion for their children willy nilly onto Class Six where they will be illegally ripe to attempt the NPSE Exams.( No doubt parents accompany their children to the NPSE examination halls mostly to “grease the palms of the invigilators”). What then would we expect from the progress of these children? It’s a bleak future in its entirety.
In all of these, the poignant question to ask is Where is WAEC (West Africa Examination Council) in all of these when manned answered booklets mysteriously make their way to homes, offices or schools?
Where is WAEC when their staffs are alleged to serve as masterminds or accomplices of exam malpractices? What, if any, are the internal system mechanisms in WAEC? How safe are the scripts, question papers, results et al when questions often leak on social media before being sat to? When doctored results with WAEC features make their way for university admissions? When examiners travel from distant locations with booklets to a school in Bo for inducement package to which mission was impossible? I will keep on asking endlessly.
Notwithstanding, could the stopgap mechanisms employed by WAEC officials to curb the growing threats of exam malpractices including Conference Marking serve as a panacea to this glorified lucrative academic enterprise? Certainly Not!
Is WAEC above the Law? I’m flummoxed hearing that ACC is finding it extremely difficult to infiltrate WAEC. Could this be true? Is WAEC too immune against the sting of the ACC Scorpion Squad?
7 (1)(a)&(b) of the Anti-Corruption Act,2008 provides thus: The objects for which the Commission is
Commission. Established are- (a) to take all steps as may be necessary for the prevention, eradication or suppression of corruption and corrupt practices; (b) to investigate instances of alleged or suspected corruption referred to it by any Person or authority or which has come to its attention, whether by complaint or otherwise; Conclusively, until the demigods at WAEC are arrested and thorough investigation launched into the operations of WAEC, the menace of exam malpractices will rule the day.