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The National Examination Council (NECO) has urged parents to stop aiding and abetting examination malpractice as it is the major cause of corruption in the country.

Prof. Charles Uwakwe, Registrar of the council said this in Abuja on Thursday at the 2017 National Conference of Exam Ethics Marshal International (EEMI). The theme of the conference was “Promoting Best Practice in Education’’.

Uwakwe, represented by Dr Uche Ezenwanne, the Deputy Director, Examination of the council, said if parents could abide by the rules of engagement in examination, other sectors would function effectively.

He said most of the problems of examinations were traceable to parents indulging in the act of buying questions for their wards to enable them pass.

“Our problems are the parents, who try to sabotage the exams by offering bribe to supervisors to make their wards get answers to questions.

“But for us as a council, we have been able to reduce this to the barest minimum through the engagement of senior staff of the council as exam supervisors.

“At primary schools, we have been able to bring down malpractices down due to the action the council has put in place to combat them in fighting the scourge in the schools.’’

The registrar added that there was an increase in the cases of exam malpractices in 2017, compared to 2016, adding that measures had been taken to put an end to it.

“At the Senior School Certificate Examination, we had more than 50,000 cases of exam malpractices in 2017, which was above the over 40,000 cases in 2016.

“Also, about 23 supervisors were suspended and prosecuted, while 270 schools identified in mass cheating were suspended.

“All of these are in a bid to stop the menace and make the public realise that there are penalties for exam malpractices.’’

He said that the council had also taken measures to sensitise the public, while calling on other stakeholders to join hands to combat the menace.

Earlier, Mr Ademola Bakare, the Head of International Cooperation Unit, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Matters ( ICPC), said the effective way to curb corruption was to conscientise education through national value curriculum.

Bakare said the role of parents was essential to have effective delivery of the national value curriculum.

He added that for the country to totally come out of corruption there was the need for parents to get it right with the children at the tender age of their primary education.

According to him, ICPC is collaborating with relevant educational agencies, especially the National Universities Commission to fight plagiarism in tertiary institutions.

“The major problem of development in Nigeria is lack of monitoring and Evaluation of a project.

“How do you do the impact assessment of a project without the monitoring and evaluation unit.

“The students’ anti-corruption club has been introduced in schools but could not be effectively managed because of funding.

“But I still believe that if parents can stop aiding and abetting exam malpractices, it will go a long way in reducing corruption in our various sectors.’’

Also speaking, Mr Ike Onyechere, Founding Chairman, EEMI said the role of education in raising the competence of teachers, administrators and other professionals was of paramount importance.

According to him, the competence of the above administrators has been raised based on codes of honour, truth and integrity that guide the process of their education.

He added that the integrity of the examination process was, however, being compromised by examination malpractices which must be addressed.

Onyechere said it was, therefore, necessary to raise leaders, professionals and workforce with competence to deliver quality service and character to shun corruption at all levels.

“Examination malpractices undermine the ability of education to help young people to identify their true talents.

“Youths, the leaders of tomorrow who feed and weaned on diets of fraud, malpractice and dishonesty become easy recruits for corruption,’’ he said. NECO bagged the 2017 Exam Ethics Marshal most improved examination board award as a result of its deployment of the most innovative solutions for curbing examination malpractices.

The selection was done by the independent award committee of EEMI, following efforts by the board in curbing examination malpractices in institutions of learning. EEMI is a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), was established in 1996, with the aim of promoting ethics, integrity and best practices, as well as combating exam malpractices and academic dishonesty.

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