1.Each time WAEC and NECO release results that are horrible our usual reactions are typical of a state falling apart. A few years ago NECO announced that only 2% of the students who sat for its GCE examinations reached an acceptable level that could guarantee our survival as a nation. But what did we do?
2.More than 90% of those who reacted were looking for scapegoats and pointing accusing fingers, finding faults and defaulters on duty. A state commissioner of Education and another well-known examination malpractices “crusader” held NECO responsible. But NECO in response pointed at “carpenters, mechanics, meat sellers and vulcanizers” who were not supposed to have taken the examinations in the first place.
3.Parents on the other hand faulted schools, staff and managers and owners while the latter slammed governments, parents and students in return.
We all kept and keep pointing accusing fingers at others but never at ourselves!
4.So the question to ask ourselves today is whether we are still in our boxing rings or just waiting by the ringside for another examination disaster to resume the usual good-for-nothing verbal spats. Where and what are the remedies to make sure that the future of our nation is secured? After all, Aristotle once said that “the fate of empires depend on the education of youth”. Was it not also said that “there are no illegitimate children but illegitimate parents with irresponsible behavior”?
5.When shall we stop this blame game and face the reality of KILLING THE TWO EXAMINATION MOCKING BIRDS OF NIGERIA? These are EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES AND MASSIVE FAILURES. To do this we shall look at the nature of each mockingbird one after the other. Perhaps we might find solutions in them and not pointing accusing fingers at each other without getting anywhere.
EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES (EM)
6.The other name for EM is academic dishonesty or cheating. Dr Wilda of the US Department of Education pointed out in one of her blogs that:
a)EM is a worldwide phenomenon
b)1/3 of those she interviewed said they had cheated in examinations at different levels before.
c)1/2 of those who confessed said it started from class assignments and graduated into school examinations.
d)2/3 admitted to cheating at least once while they were in high school.
e)2/3 of those who cheated in high school had also seen their classmates cheating during school examinations and homework.
f)1/2 believed that examiners who could not care less are a big part of the problem.
g) Paradoxically 3/4 of those interviewed believed that cheating is morally wrong and unjustifiable under any circumstance.
7.In China and some other countries we have also seen very extreme measures taken to prevent or cut EM which do not seem to be getting prime attention here beyond wailing noise-making.
8.So what are the causes of cheating with particular reference to Nigeria? These are:
a)CORRUPTION INDEX / SOCIAL EQUITY
In Nigeria EM are linkable to our World Corruption Index. Cheating does not occur in a vacuüm. We have a culture that conditions the minds of our teenagers to cheating. They see the police each day in every street corner or main road collecting money from commercial bus drivers. They see flashy pastors flying in luxurious planes making fools of wretched members. They read or see politicians in Abuja and all around them who do next to nothing yet living like Kings and Queens. They juxtapose these with their hard-working parents and teachers and think the best thing is to take the easiest way out. What one is bound to conclude is that EM may also be a function of the “fairness” going on in our society. Since social equity and justice is terribly skewed so shall EM continue to be attractive to certain teenagers who wish to join them as quickly as possible.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT POST