The Lagos State government has expressed its readiness to start enforcing the Examination Malpractice Act as enshrined in the 1999 Federal Constitution, stipulating a three years’ jail term or fine of N100,000 or both for anyone found guilty of compromising examination ethics in the country.
The permanent secretary, Ministry of Education, Lagos State, Mrs Adebunmi Adekanye, said this in her remark recently at the examination ethics workshop organised by the ministry for students, teachers, parents and other education stakeholders in the state at Maryland, Ikeja.
The annual workshop with the theme: ‘Effects and Solutions to Examination Malpractice in the Society,’ had resource persons from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) and the Lagos State Examination Board, among others in attendance.
Adekanye, who openly expressed joy over one of the public secondary schools in the state, Meiran Community High School, which produced the candidate with the highest mark in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), re-emphasised that the state government would not hesitate to ensure that the laws guiding the conduct of public examinations in the country takes it full course.
Examination ethics, according to her, “is the integrity and world’s best practices in education that help students to excel in examinations based on ethics complaint principles, while examination malpractice is simply academic fraud or dishonesty.
“So, while I appeal to your conscience for a better education in the future, I will also warn everyone-be it student, teacher, school administrator or parent-of the consequences of involvement in unwholesome activities concerning examinations,” she stressed.
She said though examination malpractice had reduced significantly, especially in the public schools in the state, government is still not comfortable as it aims at total eradication of examination malpractice in the state.
Speaking separately, a trio of deputy registrar from WAEC, Mr Idowu Ojo, and Mr Agboola Kolapo from NECO and the registrar, Lagos Examination Board, Dr Olufemi Hassan, said their organisations were not taking the issue of examination malpractice lightly with anyone or institution.
They said though they came up with new mechanisms every time to prevent malpractice in their examinations, they were not satisfied with the results from such efforts so far.
While they encouraged students and teachers to be more serious with their respective duties of learning and teaching, they also urged parents and government not to fail in their responsibilities of providing necessary things that will aid the development of education and the economy at large.
They said examination malpractice would not do anyone nor country any good, but lots of harm.