Why WAEC, NECO grades should not be used for admission criteria
It is the usual practice in most universities to convert the grades that students obtain in WAEC/NECO to marks and add it up to their JAMB and Post UTME scores to arrive at a point that determines their admission. This practice should be reviewed urgently if we want to reduce the high rate of examination malpractice.
WAEC and NECO grades should not be part of the input at all to determine admission points for students. If a student has credited his papers at least, then his JAMB and Post UTME as the case may be should be used only for admission purpose. The reason for this is not far fetched.
The level of examination malpractice associated with these two exam body – WAEC and NECO is very embarrassing. These no longer meet the desires and yearning of a nation that is preparing a better nation for future leaders.
Both bodies have not done enough like JAMB to rid it’s exam of fraudulent acts and practices that they are known for. Students that benefited from any form of exam malpractice stand a better chance of gaining admission into universities than others who did not partake in it.
A lot of my hardworking students have been denied admission in the past just because their aggregates was 4-5 points or lesser below the cut-off point while most of their colleagues they did better than in JAMB and Post UTME but with “fantastically corrupt” WAEC results later got higher points than them. Hence the WAEC and NECO results should not be used at all as a criterion in raising points for students during admission.
The university of Ibadan template should be emulated where only the JAMB and Post UTME are used as the basis for admission. This is because JAMB is the most transparent exam body of the three that shows it is serious and battle-ready in tackling issues of exam malpractice which has reduced drastically since the “new sheriff came to town”.
The WAEC and NECO should do more in ending examination malpractices during their exams. Once a student obtains credit in all important subjects that are enough for such student to be graded with his JAMB and Post UTME.
The level of exam malpractice affecting these exam bodies have gotten to the level that supervisors bribe WAEC and NECO officials so as to be taken to ‘juicy’ schools with large candidates; schools that will “pay them well” for the ‘service’ they will render.
Though exam malpractice is not found only in WAEC and NECO exams, it is also found in all cadres of learning. The primary level (common entrance examination) is not spared from this evil of exam malpractice. In fact, the worst of this problem is in the highest citadel of learning.
When a student, who schools in a popular federal university in the South-East, came back recently from school before the recent ASUU strike, I observed from my interrogation with him that he has dropped from above 4 point average to barely above 3.5 within two years.
This was not the student that I knew and taught in secondary school then. What happened that you dropped this low when I was expecting you to rise to first class?
What he narrated made me shed tears about the wanton rape of our education sector without care from any of the stakeholders.
He mentioned that results are bought in his school. If you want ‘A’ grade you pay #8000, the lesser amount for other grades. He even said some females sell themselves to the lecturers if they don’t have the money and sometimes, it is the class rep that arranges this ‘business ‘.
He said it is very common to see a student going to work when he is meant to be in the lecture hall because he wants to make money to ‘settle’ his courses.
Exam malpractice if allowed to continue will not bring out the best from our students and will not make them have the idea and perception that they have to work hard to achieve something good in life. It will erode the culture of hard work and commitment to achieving success which will affect them throughout life struggles.
One of the solutions to solve this problem is for the EFCC and ICPC to have a unit specially made for examination malpractice. If the fight against corruption is only targeted at those at the ‘ top’, who will now refine the little ones growing to become the great leaders of a better tomorrow we envisage.
Our leaders of tomorrow should be made to appreciate the value of hard work and not taking shortcuts to success otherwise the war on corruption will just amount to waste as the next generation of leaders will do worse.
Also, another way it can be curbed is for the Lagos State Government (and other states) to prevent external students from registering for WAEC and NECO in Private and Public Schools.
Students in school registers submitted by the middle of S.S 2 second term should be the only candidates allowed to write these examinations. Volunteers from religious bodies and NGOs with a high level of integrity should also be allowed to supervise these examinations.
Lastly, all examination bodies should make their syllabus less voluminous and more specific in order to be able to guide the students to know what to expect in their examinations and make them well prepared.
This will make them not have any need for exam malpractice because they will believe in themselves and work on the key areas of the syllabus they know the majority of the questions will come from. This is what is obtainable in international exams like the IGCSE.
I want an equal opportunity for my students and other hardworking students that did not partake in exam malpractice. I do not want the ‘very good’ results of their colleagues that cheated to be converted to Mark’s thereby affecting these honest students from getting admission to study medicine and others.