Lagos – The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has urged the Federal Government to enact a law that would enable it to demobilise networks in all centres during the conduct of its examinations. The Head, Public Affairs of the council, Mr Damianus Ojijeogu, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
Ojijeogu said this would help to further tackle the rising cases of examination malpratice among candidates in the country. He spoke against the backdrop of activities of some fraudulent persons who operated rogue websites and use it to defraud candidates by posting wrong questions and answers during its examinations. “You know, WAEC is not a national body. It is a regional body and as a result, we must always strive to operate within the ambit of the law that sets up the examination body. “The fight against malpractice has remained one of our key challenges in ensuring that the integrity of our examination is not compromised. “As such, we want all stakeholders, especially the Federal Government to join hands with us in taking it seriously and fighting the scourge. “Indeed we want to appeal to the Federal Government to assist us further by passing a law that will enable WAEC to jam the respective networks in all centres during our examinations.
“This is because countries where this has been successfully carried out, it is the governments of such countries that made it possible, for the sake of the future of their children and their education,’’ Ojijeogu said. According to him, the council on its own, is doing all it can to tackle the menace by continually deploying cutting edge technologies and training and re-training of staff, to be able to detect and nip all forms of malpractice before it can be carried out. “It will be recalled that we use persons who are not WAEC staff during the conduct of our examinations and therefore, we must always be proactive by being ahead. “We are always putting measures in place to ensure that operators of those rogue websites are also apprehended and charged to court.
“In April this year, during the conduct of our West African Senior School Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates, some operators were caught and paraded, same as last year. “For this year, we have also been notified about their activities at our ongoing second series 2018 WASSCE for private candidates and we are already investigating to find out their location. “We are indeed working hard to get as much information as possible in order to assist the police to swing into action. “So far, about 12 persons who have been arrested in connection with these fraudulent activities have been charged to court and our expectation is that the law will take its full course to serve as deterrent to others,’’ he said.
Ojijeogu noted that the fraudsters were currently working hard to defraud gullible candidates writing the WASSCE for private candidates by posting past questions of some subjects using various social media platforms. “These questions are papers already taken at the Gambia and Sierra Leone and we want to admonish candidates not to fall prey to these persons as it is capable of compromising their performance and their future,’’ he said. (NAN)