NECO Worries Over Spike In Numbers, Mulls Prosecuting Exams Cheats


Worried about about the spike in examinations malpractices in Nigeria, the Registrar, National Examinations Council (NECO), Professor Ibrahim Wushishi, says the Council will consider legal actions against candidates involved in such aberrance.

Wushishi stated this at an interactive session with journalists, on the sidelines of the release of results of the 2022 Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE) for external candidates, on Thursday, in Minna, the Niger State capital, North-Central Nigeria.
The NECO boss expressed concern over the sharp increase in examinations malpractices across the country in its 2022 SSCE (external), with 11,419 cases recorded, as against the 4,454 recorded in 2021.
According to him, this is largely due to the improvement in the strategy and techniques adopted by the monitoring officers.
This led to the blacklisting of four supervisors in Rivers, Plateau and Ogun states.
He described collusion among candidates during examinations as one of the major factors responsible for the high malpractices’ cases, during the conduct of the 2022 SSCE for external candidates.
“Collusion among candidates is one of the key factors responsible for the high number of malpractice cases in these results.
“Collusion is in different forms. Talking during examination, when you exchange paper and pen, which is not allowed, this is called collusion.
“So, all these things were identified and also you can identify collusion while marking the papers, because you could see how candidates’ scripts are very similar. By the time you have the preponderance of these scripts in this nature, you know that collusion has taken place.
“What we do is that we withheld and cancel results, but we have not started taking legal actions.  But we have resolved through the process of approving these results, to start taking legal actions.
“There are no special tribunals to handle examination malpractices in Nigeria; there are only conventional courts you go to address this.
“When you look at the laws, you will find out there hasn’t been much legal actions that have to do with examination malpractices across the country. But, we are going to make sure NECO blazes the trail to address examination malpractices,” Wushishi said.
The Registrar noted that there were, however, some improvements in the examination, over the previous one, especially in the number of registered candidates.
“Last year, we registered only a little above 40,000 candidates, but, this year, we registered more than 60, 000 candidates and about 58,000 of such candidates sat for the examination. So, this is an improvement,” he added.
It would be recalled that the NECO’s 2022 SSCE for external candidates held from November 21 to December 21, 2022, and was released 57 days after its conduct, with 29 subjects examined.

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