One of the greatest plagues education in Nigeria is currently having to battle with is Examination malpractice.
Examination insurance agencies are at the heart of this ugly menace and have to a large extent taken the sting off the quality of basic education provided in Nigeria.
What are examination insurance agencies?
These are organizations (usually schools) who promise students excellent result in an examination with little or no effort from the student.
They demand huge sums of money in exchange for providing answers to examination questions while the only work students are expected to do is to copy these answers into their examination booklet.
Examination insurance agencies viz 'Miracle Centres' are in every nook and cranny of Nigerian states and are annually manipulating external examinations such as WAEC, Jamb CBT, WASSCE, BECE and even First School Leaving Exams For Primary school students.
Examination insurance agencies employ every form of cheating just to ensure that their clients who they now offer a money back guarantee secure the best results.
Even at the higher institutions of learning in the country, lecturers have gradually turned into examination insurance agents and would give unmerited results to students who pay them either in cash or kind.
How Examination Insurance Agencies Killed Education In Nigeria
1.Promoting Examination Malpractice
While examination bodies are setting high standards for examinations, these agencies make students believe that they can never make excellent results without assistance.
They use advanced technology for all the wrong reasons and provide students with printed or handwritten examination answers even before the exam invigilator or supervisor arrives at the venue for the examination.
2.Extortion of Money
In exchange for excellent results, huge sums of money are extorted from parents and students.
These examination insurance agencies are the primary reason why education is very expensive especially in southeastern Nigeria.
Money collected from parents are used to pay off examination supervisors and make sure malpractice runs smoothly.
Only a small number of students would go the hard way - studying when they can pay for the results they desire to have.
It was only a few years ago that students had to spend hours in the library or their personal study table to prepare for exams. This culture is gradually dying off and could become a real memory of the past as these agencies grow from strength to strength.
4. Obscuring The Purpose of Examinations
Examinations are used to get a clearer assessment of a student's knowledge and abilities, a purpose which can never be achieved if students receive assistance while writing.
Excellent results end up in the hands of those who cannot defend it.
Examination results are fast losing its value and represent the reason why certificates attained in Nigeria are written off by employers of labor in other countries.
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5.Hampering The Future of The Next Generation
Quality education in the near future could become farfetched as the number of students with unmerited certificate continues to increase.
About two third of primary school teachers in Kaduna State failed to score up to 75 percent when asked to write examinations meant for primary four students.
The country is producing First Class graduates who cannot impart knowledge to students, no thanks to these agencies.
An unprecedented future clearly awaits the next generation who will find themselves learning at the foot of incompetent teachers and this clearly does not bode well for the country.
What is the way forward?
1.Blacklisting Examination Insurance Agencies
A huge number of these agencies are still accredited examination centers and will continue to thrive if they are not blacklisted.
Jamb In 2017 promptly blacklisted 72 centers for gross examination misconduct and technical deficiencies. Similar effort and time must be invested by other examinations bodies if we are to win the war against examination malpractice in Nigeria.
Strict supervision of exams and heavy sanctions must be placed on defaulters.
Albeit the whack, a number of students are still making excellent results without patronizing these agencies.
Such sincere effort must be rewarded with scholarships awards.
This will promote the culture of studying to pass exams and create an added incentive for students to be at their best academically.
There is a way to restore educational standards in Nigeria and that is doing away with these examination insurance agencies.