By Samuel Ogunnaike
SIR: Man generally cannot exist in isolation. This truth has continued to play out in every sphere of life. To start with, the world is yet to see a school or an academy wherein there is no social interaction between the staff or among the students or the school and the external environment. With this, it is evident that WAEC must be interacting with some stakeholders such as the government, the school administrators, parents, students, teachers, supervisors, and the public. Among these groups come the saboteurs- those who are both desperate and deliberate to frustrate the hallowed efforts of WAEC.
Arguably, WAEC has adopted the best practices in their operations and deployed ICT for quality assurance, standard maintenance and perpetual relevance in the contemporary world of technology-driven testing. Even at that, murky practices continue unabated. We can not continue to lambast and reprimand the WAEC hierarchy when it is crystal clear that the saboteurs are our brothers, sisters, parents, staff, neighbours, relatives and children.
Our moral code is weak, same as our integrity fabric. Who put up the examination paper for sale? Who brought “chips’ into the examination hall? Who gave the “thumb up” to the students to engage in malpractice? Who requested a special centre for the child? Who greased the palm of the WAEC supervisor? Who was in the “upper room” racking his brains to make solutions available to the students? Absolutely and certainly, not WAEC, but the saboteurs. If paper leaks, ask the supervisor; if exam becomes an open test, ask the school authorities; if students are spoon-fed in the hall, ask the teachers; if “ answer notes” are found in the hall, ask the students; if students are in a “special” school or centre, ask the parents…
Once upon a time, I was a teacher. With adequate number of years spent in the system, I know, the saboteurs won’t give up the fight easily. Many have benefited from the murky practices while a growing number of them are currently expanding their “sick” wealth base. It seems true that behind a conscience break or fracture lies an offer of money. I am not asserting that this is the problem, since problems, according to policy analysts are not easy to define. If the love of money is not the problem, then, without doubt, it will be a symptom of the problem.
Let’s turn to our role as rescuers. We are the collaborative agents of WAEC. Without us, the battle may not be won, as such we get deeply entrenched in our woes of murky practices. If the “leaked” paper buyer will stop today, the seller will stop. If the supervisor will resist an attempt to be bought over, the “buying” school will sit up. If parents will desist from enrolling their wards in “special centre”, the “ miracle” school will sit up. If schools will resist the pressure from parents to have their children being spoon-fed in the exam, parents will sit up. If both parents and schools withdraw their immoral collaborative activities, students will sit up. It is only when we sit up, that WAEC will be “up” .
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