The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) West African Examination Council (WAEC) and other examination bodies have over the years tried assiduously to control the unfortunate upsurge of examination malpractices, but students seems to have continued to scuttle the fight against examination malpractices.
The truth is: an intimidating eighty percent of O’level examination writers cheat. Parent and guardians still pay heavily to ensure that their children and wards pass exam malpractices and examination fraud and snyndicacy have become a lucrative business for teachers, undergraduates, graduates, examination officials and almost everybody in that level of education.
A discourse on the way and tricks of his sabotage is talk for another time.
For now, let us discuss the more permanent issue of universities, Polytechnics monotechinics and collages of education.
Most universities in Nigeria have thrown open their doors to admit new students. This process starts with the sole of the post-UME screening forms which qualifies the applicant to write a screening examination in any of the universities he or she choose on the JAMB form. Remember, this Post-UME screening is a new thing.
It was introduced by Oby Ezekwesili as a Minister of Education, in her desire to discourage examination cheats. But this aim has been defeated, as the conduct of this examination became so porous and in essence shameful.
Mercenaries or Impersonators have begun making brick business out of it.
Lecturers and university non-academic staff are as well enriching themselves through back door business on this screening programme who does not know that, with the right connection one can get his or her score in this screening test upgraded is no longer news, that some people who do not write this examination at all, do find their way into universities.
Some also said, that one can actually gain admission into a university, without having written the UME. I don’t know how true that is. So many people loiter around as admission agents. Or have you not heard of admissions racketeering a situation, where admission is offered only to those who have links to the admissions department.
It is becoming doubtful if anyone can gain admission on in some of our Nigerian University.
Courses now have prices attached to them, before you can be admitted to them. The so called “A” grade courses are tagged from five thousand and more. The ones immediately after it are said to be a little less and so on.
Parents, in their desperation to ensure that their children go to school, pay those lump sums admist much bickering. They know, it is not right, but they are made to believe that no one giants admission without having to pay that big money. Sometimes graduates who have links to one or two lecturers, by their hands at this ‘business’ even undergraduates and Graduates too.
Sometime it works out, sometimes does not and the cries of those parents become wails.
The truth is that, no matter how deeply rooted, this abnormality has become, it can be stopped, before it becomes a norm.
From the top, the academic sector in Nigeria is beginning to rot and decay, but something can be done to correct it.
If you do a little thing in the right direction today and I do a little, something tangible can be achieved.
Ike is a student of Federal Polytechnic Owerri.