By Stanley Ugagbe

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NIGERIA as a nation is richly blessed by God. That is if you begin to mention the nations that are most blessed by God, I see Nigeria as number one. God so much love the nation that He adorned it with so many beautiful things. One of the most beautiful things, God used to bless our nation is “education.” God blessed our nation with people who are intelligent enough to take the country to next level. Unfortunately, rather than developing the brain that God gave to us. Higerious have opted for a quicker way to get certificates and left the brain to develop mucor.
Lest I forget, the intention of this discourse in malpractices in baccalaureate examinations. It must be made clear that baccalaureate examinations including primary school leaving certificate, Junior WAEC, Senior WAEC, NABTEB, JAMB, Post UME etc. It’s no longer newsworthy to mention the cases of malpractices in our nation. Examination malpractices have eaten deep into the live-wire of our nation and as such has become a tradition and a normal thing. Nigerians have accepted malpractices to be culture and as such no drastic, clear, positive measures are being taken to curb the chronic diseases that landed the coast of our Nation long ago.
It must be mentioned that the increasing rate of malpractices and the extent to which people have taken malpractices is something that calls, for immediate and adequate attention so as to curb and cure the disease.
Gone are those days in which you go to school, study and write your exams yourself. Gone are those days in which you go into examination hall on examination day before you “GET QUESTION PAPERS” Long gone are those days where examination officials don’t give room for malpractices. Gone are those days where examination officials don’t give room for malpractices. Gone are those days where parents sit in their homes and wait for their children to bring their results. Gone are those days that only students that study hard and pass examination.
Malpractices us graduating from one stage to another daily. In those days, Lazy and full students used to secretly indulge in the abominable act. Today, malpractices has become an accepted culture in our Nation. What a mess!
Wait! Who are those to blame for this devilish act? This piece (1) blame the examination officials and parents for this ungodly act. You may want to ask why I shouldered the blame on parents and officials. Calm down, let me tell you why and how.
The fact that examination malpractices is traceable to parents is not in doubt. It is no more news to hear of parents paying for mercenaries to write examinations on behalf of their children. Some go to bribe teachers or buy live examination papers for their children This of course has contributed in no small way to the menace of this terrible monster. It is good and proper for parents to desire good success for their children/wards, but wrong and condemnable if they would find no way of helping them succeed other than aiding them one way or the other in examination. The question I want to ask is “if you pay others to write an examination for your child, or buy live question paper for the child, are you encouraging that child to study”? How do you expect your child to study when he knows that you will pay other(s) to get the job done for him? Tenaciously, any child (student) that knows that the parent will provide alternative (manner) I mean getting someone to write exams for him/her will “never read” I mean, why should I study when I’m not the one to write the exam? Truth be told, reading is one of the most difficult things to do and students whose parents pay mercenaries to write exam for will never read and will always be left with no option than seeking practices. How can Nigeria get better when many parents have chosen to write examinations for their children.
Ultimately, examination officials are the brain behind the life-threatening chronic disease of malpractices. How can students get examination questions before examination day. Isn’t it appalling and abominable that students get WAEC, NECO, JAMB, NABTEB etc questions before examination day? What is our nation turning to? Who are those selling questions to students before time if not the “official.” The same people who condemned malpractice are the same people selling question to students.
How can teachers, invigilators, supervisor and examination officials in general be paving way for malpractices? How can students read when they know that the officials (that God will soon punish) will collect money from them to pave way for malpractices?
Examination officials are those ultimately blame for malpractice because they have the power/key in their hands, if they don’t give the go ahead by collecting bribe, there will be no room for such.”
The truth is, if examination officials can determine in their conducts not to accept bribe to pave way for malpractice, students will be left with no option than to study hard for their exams.
In a nutshell, to say that corruption has been institutionalized in this country is but to say the least. Examination malpractice is just one of the corrupt practices. It is no more a shame to be caught cheating in examination, because corruption has become a way of life for many and almost a daily routine of the vast majority. Now, office holders cheat and embezzle public funds, men and women do same in their offices, housewives cheat on the husbands and would steal too, if given, the opportunity.
But that is not all, law enforcement agents are not free from bribery, teachers in schools and even school administrators are not exempted from one corrupt act or the other, politicians deceive the electorates with promises they cannot fulfill until they die, and surprisingly, many religious leaders who have graduated from the university of sin do worse using the name of God without fear. Tell me then how and why students should not cheat. Poor state of infrastructure in schools, long closure of schools following strike actions, poor funding for education loss of the true sense of value or faulty value system, all point to one thing, corrupt system of national life.
Little wonder did P.O.C. Umen in his poem titled “ambassador of poverty” said in the last stanza that we all are ambassadors of poverty “because we refused to do what we are supposed to do.”
For how long will Nigeria be incarnated in the belly of corruption? For how long will Nigeria continue to shun out graduates who cannot defend their certificates. So appalling that more emphasized is now on the certificate than the knowledge and as such students go for the certificate rather than the knowledge using all means. Malpractice has given those hand. How can our nation get better.
The effects of malpractices are so devastating to both individuals and the nation at large. Thye include the following among others. Makes one unable to defend his/her certificate, facilitates the enthronement of a mediocre, half-baked, incompetent and corrupt workforce, discredits academic institutions and academes affects national growth and productivity, impedes intellectual progress of the nation, reduces the value of certificates, rubbishes the skindard and quality of educational standard in any country, lead to high educational wastage as those who cheat to pass examination at a lower level achieve very poor at a higher level.
Nigeria need to be healed from the chronic disease of malpractices and the deliverance process starts with examination officials. This is because the key to open the door of malpractices is in their hands. Parents must also stop the devilish act of paying mercenaries to write for their children.
Malpractice is only a disease and can be cured. It depends on how serious the government are about it. I believe that if the drastic, immediate and adequate attention that was given to the dreaded Ebola Virus is given to the chronic disease of malpractice, in a long but short while, it can be curtailed.
Ebola Virus and malpractice virus which is more deadly? If the Ebola Virus can be curtailed in a very short while, malpractice can also be curtailed? As a mater of fact, malpractice is more deadly than the Ebola Virus.
If at all the Minister of Education and the government can see the need to eradicate malpractice as a “door die affair” it can be curtailed.
However, we all must put effort to cure the chronic diseases of malpractice. All hands must be on deck. Examination malpractice is abominable before God. Students, read your books, Examination officials, stop collecting bribes and parents stop paying others to write exams for your children.
All those who involve themselves in examination malpractices will go to hell. Beware and be warned.