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By NBF News
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The Federal Government has acknowledged the effect of examination malpractice on the education system, even as it revealed that some measures have been put in place to checkmate the menace.

Speaking at 17th Annual Endowment Fund Lecture as part of activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa'i, told the gathering that examination fraud is reducing nationwide, but efforts must be made to reduce it to the barest minimum.

She said: 'We have our challenges when it comes to exam malpractice. This administration has put mechanism to tackle exam malpractice in schools. We must also acknowledge that the menace is reducing. We are proud of WAEC for all they have been doing since 60 years ago. We will continue to support WAEC to achieve greater heights'.

Professor Pius Obanya, the speaker at the endowment fund lecture, tasked stakeholders to urgently take action to tackle the issue of mass failure among students in WAEC, NECO and JAMB examinations nationwide warning 'the menace must be tackle from the foundation.'

Obanya who spoke on 'Nipping educational failure in the bud' disclosed that credit obtained by students in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) from 2008 to 2010 has reduced by 20 per cent, thus, the mass failure is a red alert for stakeholders to address the poor performance.

According to him, mass failure in public examinations is a sign of education failure in the country and suggested a seven point solutions to arrest the situation and tasked government to 'put education money where education action is. Government must invest in education not spending money on education.'

He blamed teachers, parents, students and the system for the mass failure noting 'parents will blame teachers and WAEC for their children's failure. Children rather than read for exam engage in surfing Internet (yahoo, yahoo). Those in the teaching profession are those who didn't like teaching, but because of the situation in the country, they found their way into schools. Such people lack the quality and ability to teach.'

On exam fraud, he sought for adequate punishment for candidates and other offenders caught during WAEC, NECO or JAMB examinations to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to engage in the act, noting, when some culprits are caught during examinations and taken to police station, nothing is heard of their prosecution.

Earlier, the chairman of council, Professor Jonas Redwood-Sawyerr, described the topic of the lecture as an issue that is of great concern to WAEC, government and stakeholders, noting, Professor Obanya spoke about the true situation of things on ground.

Professor Redwood-Sawyerr disclosed that WAEC has a lot to learn from the lecture and would take the solutions proffered to nip the issue of mass failure in the bud and appreciated the efforts of both past and present staff of WAEC, while assuring, 'we will not fail the founding fathers of the council.'

Registrar of the Council, Alhaja Mulikat Bello, disclosed that mass failure among students should be a matter of concern to stakeholders to address and lauded Professor Obanya for telling Nigerians the true situation on ground and how to tackle the problem.