By Fatmata Jengbe
Examinations are known to play very important roles in our educational system, and the effect of examination malpractice has a negative and positive part of it. Examination malpractice with its disadvantages is affecting all the facets of society negatively. Other effects of examination malpractice include discouragement of students from hard work, low productivity and poor job performances, bribery, corruption, and certificate racketeering.
The ongoing examinations malpractices, especially in public exams, are currently a thorn in the flesh for the current government, which is working round the clock to put an end to them. The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Aiah Gbakima said on Friday that “no matter the situation we are going to overhaul WAEC”.
This policy statement from the Minister is something that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) would have to treat with all seriousness considering the humiliation it went through in recent days in the hands of the government. A good number of WAEC staff and staff of other schools allegedly caught in the exams malpractice syndicate have been humiliated in public and others have found themselves behind bars, even though there are no laws in the country prohibiting examinations malpractices. “Examinations malpractice is a headache for the government. The President is treating it with all seriousness,” the Minister remarked and furthered that “We will not relent but we’ll get something done about it.
Prof. Gbakima told the gathering that one of the strategies his Ministry will apply is to have a national dialogue on education to find out what the problems are and get solutions. “This is not about politics but a national event that requires every hand on deck so that we end examinations malpractices across Sierra Leone,” he said. “We need to be disciplined in the educations sector,” he noted.
The Government is currently spending lots of monies on students’ grant-in-aid. Over two thousand students in various universities and colleges are currently benefiting from this support. “We hope to increase the number in the coming years,” the Minister assured but warned that those that are not doing well will be kicked out of the scheme and replaced with others doing well. “We are going to get their results. I have already told the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone that those who fail to do well should not continue to benefit from the government’s support,” he remarked.