Warri — Minister for Information, Prof Dora Akunyili, has said the blame for the prevalence of examination malpractices and cultism in tertiary institutions in the country should be placed largely at the doorsteps of parents.
She noted that negative activities of the young ones in the country's tertiary institutions such as cheating at examinations through purchase of question papers are often aided by the condescending parents who actually purchased the papers for their children and wards.
The minister, who made this assertion while launching the Rebranding Nigeria Club at the Delta State University (DELSU) Campus, Asaba, advised parents who encourage such negative attitudes in their children and wards to have a change of heart especially in the spirit of a the New Nigeria envisaged by the rebranding process.
Akunyili also urged the management, lecturers and students of DELSU to "be at the forefront in the rebranding campaign"
She advised the students to appreciate the fact that their future is on the line whenever they succumbed to temptation to cheat at examinations or engage in examination misconduct.
"Rebranding Nigeria is all about attitudinal change," she pointed out, saying the success so far recorded by the campaign would be greatly enhanced if the students who are the future leaders of Nigeria enthusiastically bought into the rebranding change-process.
She stressed that the decision of her ministry to launch the country's rebranding crusade in all tertiary institutions in the country was advised by the need "to catch them young."
According to Akunyili, while the negative attitudes of "the few bad eggs" among older citizens needed to be managed, the younger generation of Nigerians should embrace the desired change that would better Nigeria's international standing and a change in the negative perception of Nigeria hitherto bandied by foreigners.
While recommending "stiffer sanctions for lecturers who compromise their positions" through sexual harassment, she encouraged especially the female students to resist "randy lecturers" by dressing decently and taking their studies seriously.
"Let me tell you that in the five years I was in the university, no lecturer made any advances at me", she noted, adding, "I tell you, no lecturer will harass you or deliberately fail you when you're a hard working student; because he knows that you'll ask for examinations answers to be remarked."
On his part, the Chairman, Editorial Board of The Nation newspaper, Mr. Sam Omatseye, urged the students to draw inspiration from the biblical adage, "As a man think, so he is"; saying the whole idea of rebranding Nigeria revolved around "self-confidence" building and commitment to the country's age-long positive.