- Category: Education
- Published on Sunday, 15 July 2012 06:59
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 601
Nothing could be more nauseating than the recent report of Nigeria’s prime position in the world’s examination malpractice index. According to the director-general of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mike Omeri, during the launch of a campaign to raise integrity standard in the nation’s education system, the ratio of exam cheats in Nigeria is number one in the world.
An average of 12 per cent of candidates in public examinations is said to be involved: 615,010 cases were recorded in the May/June 2010 school certificate examination; 439,529 candidates cheated in the 2011 exams conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO).
These revelations should be very disturbing, and require immediate redress. The phenomenon is a sordid reflection of the devaluation of our value system and leaders’ preference for easy options in all facets of our national life. It is sad that teachers and parents have also been found complicit in the unethical conduct of procuring hirelings, question papers and scripts for their children and wards.
Admission fraud, certificate forgery and bribery are all vices that rear their ugly heads in the system from primary to tertiary levels. Paper qualification, which has seeped into our consciousness as a meal ticket, seems to have taken over from competence, industry and entrepreneurial skill.
One of the effects of these is that universities abroad merely equate the quality of Nigeria’s degrees with the poor scrolls they bear. The British Medical Council, for instance, recently barred from recognition graduates of nine medical schools in Nigeria, including those that used to be associated with academic excellence.
Hard work, virtue and integrity which should recommend themselves to teenagers have been eroded by adult members of the society; thieves and cultists are now role models.
There is something anti-intellectual about the politics and allocation of resources in our environment. UNESCO prescribes that about 26 per cent of a nation’s budget should be reserved for education, but no Nigerian government has done that.
The current budget gives less than 10 per cent to education with almajirai education taking the lion’s share. Indeed, the minister of state for education, Nyesson Wike, recently said that some states were diverting money meant for capacity building of teachers and that indicted states would not benefit from the programme this year.
Frequent disruptions in academic calendars are commonplace. The production, importation and access to educational materials are neither promoted nor encouraged. A system of reward for hard work and honesty is lacking.
We should make it possible for corporate organisations to provide seed money to be invested in bonds and securities as well as real property in form of endowments for our educational development.
We can rise up to the challenges of eliminating exam malpractice and corruption in the school system. This was part of the intention behind the Education Tax Fund which, sadly, has become another bureaucratic waste pipe. (Leadership)