Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Examination Malpractice - NECO Introduces Customised Answer Scripts

Abuja — The Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO), Prof Promise Okplala says the Council has introduced the use of customised answer scripts for its examination.

Okpala told reporters on Tuesday, in Abuja that the customised answer scripts would tackle the challenge of hoarding of remnants of answer scripts by invigilators.

He said such "left over scripts" are then sold by the supervisors to fraudsters who engaged in various forms of examination malpractice.

"The Nigeria of those days is not possible in 2012. They (Examination fraudsters) have so many ways of cheating and we, on our part are always coming out with ways to counter them.

"These customised scripts appear alike, but every paper has a unique secret code. So if you use the answer script for English Language, for instance, to answer Biology, we will fish you out," he said.

The Registrar explained that the secret code was only known to three people and would only be revealed to the invigilator an hour before the examination.

"So we want to let the public know, especially those that are engaged in examination malpractice, do not bother to write outside the hall because your script will be fished out."

He said part of the measures put in place to secure examination papers were cancellation of "sleeping places" , where papers are kept in overnight custody at police stations, banks and even palaces of chiefs in the community.

He said that papers were now kept in a single location, and that is NECO's state offices, where security had also been tightened.

Okpala said the papers were then transported as early as 5 a.m. on the day of the examination to the examination centres by the many vehicles that were stationed there.

"That is why we have shifted our examination time to 10 a.m. because by then we estimate that the papers would have reached all the centres within the state.

"That has led to an increase in the cost of our logistics, because during full operations, we use as many as 400 vehicles and drivers would be paid allowances," he said.

Okpala said the foregoing, as well as printing examination questions in batches, had also helped to minimise leakage.

"Most importantly, we do not joke with our staff welfare to prevent inducement by dubious people who offer them 'kola'."

The Registrar who attributed malpractice to lack of preparation on the part of students, urged parents and teachers to prepare candidates for examinations well ahead of time.

"This is all due to the fact that students are not well prepared and so do not have confidence in themselves.

"Let us go back to the roots and make sure we prepare candidates who will be eager to go into examination halls, because nobody seeks for support in a game one can win clean," he advised.

NAN

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