Written by Godfrey AKON

WAEC confirms arrest of fraud syndicate, denies leakages

Authorities of the West African Examination Council, WAEC, have confirmed the arrest and parade of a syndicate specialised in carrying out massive examination fraud across the country, by a detachment of the Nigerian Police.

The Council, in a statement, said the individuals paraded by the police in Abuja belonged to the West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, question and answer syndicate, and have been charged to court.

WAEC lauded the monitoring team of the Nigerian police for their collaboration in the past two years which had resulted in the arrest of some individuals connected with the syndicate in different locations around the country early last year.

The exam body however denied reports that the question papers for the ongoing 2018 WASSCE leaked, stressing that the integrity of the exam has not been compromised as no case of leakage has been established since the beginning of the exam early in April.

“However, the Council would like to emphasize that the question papers for the ongoing WASSCE for school candidates, 2018, did no leak as has been erroneously portrayed in the media.

“Leakage can be said to have occurred when the question paper get into hands of individuals who are not supposed to have them before the time scheduled on the timetable. Without any iota of doubt, the council wishes to state that no case of leakage has been established since the beginning of the examination,” the statement said.

WAEC also disclosed that while monitoring and investigating the ongoing 2018 WASSCE, it discovered that certain school principals, invigilators, supervisors and candidates were accomplices in examination fraud.

The Council said the officials and candidates succeed in smuggling mobile phones and other electronic devices into the examination hall, snap the question papers after the examination must have commenced and forward to their criminal collaborators who in turn provide solutions to the questions and send to their subscribers via rogue websites, WhatsApp and other social media.

According to the council, to tackle this problem in the future, jamming of mobile network within a specified radius in and around the examination halls or shutting down of internet throughout the country during the period of the examination as has been done in some countries, was imperative.

WAEC warned candidates that it has the capability and capacity to detect and punish candidates who may have benefited from the fraudulent activities of the operators of rogue websites and WhatsApp platforms.

The council expressed willingness to collaborate with all well-meaning Nigerians, civil society groups, corporate organisations that are ICT-inclined, telecom companies, states ministries of education and others to neutralise the threat being posed by exams malpractice to education in Nigeria.

 

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