myriad of malpractices have continued to
plague the conduct of internal and external
examinations in Nigeria. Each year, examination
bodies as the West African Examination Council (WAEC)
and the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board
(JAMB) as well as the National Examinations Council
(NECO) and the National Board for Technical Education (NABTEB) cancelled results of hundreds of
thousands of candidates over alleged malpractices.
Due to lack of proper preparation or confidence in
their independent academic capabilities, some students device various strategies or sometimes aided by
officials to cheat during examinations in a bid to make
For instance, in July 2017, WAEC withheld the
results of 214,952 candidates of the May/June West
African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE), over various reported cases of
examination malpractice. Also, results of 14,756
candidates were withheld in the 2017 October/November WASSCE in connection with various cases of
examination malpractice. Similarly, the results of 1,021
candidates, representing 9.03 per cent of the total
candidates in the WASSCE for private candidates
2018-First Series were withheld over various reported
cases of examination malpractice.
In the 2020 WASSCE result released on November
2, 2020, the results of 215,149 candidates, representing 13.98 per cent of the total number of candidates
that sat for the examination, were withheld in connection with various reported cases of examination
malpractice, according to a statement by the head of
WAEC National office, Patrick Areghan.
Areghan said, "The cases are being investigated
and reports of the investigations will be presented to
the appropriate Committee of the Council for determination in due course."
The 2020 results showed that about 1.338,358,
representing 86.99 percent of 1.538,445 candidates,
who sat for the 2020 WASSCE, obtained credit and
above in a minimum of any five subjects with or
without the compulsory English Language and Mathematics.
Also, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation
Board, JAMB, in 2017 withheld the results of 80,889
candidates who sat for the 2017 UTME over alleged
examination malpractices. In 2018, JAMB said the results of 111,981 candidates who sat for the 2018
Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME)
were withheld for "further screening" while it released
In 2019, JAMB registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede,
announced the delisting of 76 Computer-Based Test
Centres for various infractions in the 2019 UTME.
JAMB also appointed a SeniorAdvocate of Nigeria to
prosecute about 100 persons arrested for involvement
in various malpractices during the UTME of April 11
and 18, 2019, as captured on Closed Circuit Television
Irrespective of stringent provisions of the law and
despite consistent condemnation of the menace, and
attempts by examination bodies to raise the standard of
examinations, examination malpractice has, undoubtedly,
become a canker worm that has eaten deep into the
fabrics of Nigeria's educational system, in all tiers,
because some students, teachers, and parents are
reluctant to change their minds and attitudes towards
This year, it was feared that the performance of
WASSCE candidates would be poor, due to the long
closure of schools occasioned by the Covid-19 lockdown,
but the examination body had allayed such fears pointing
out that the postponement of the examination from April
to August was an added advantage to the candidates as
all learning and revisions should have been concluded by
March if the examination was not postponed.
As a way forward, students must be sensitized to know
that hard work is the key to academic success and
excellent future career. This means there must be a
conscious determination and hard work by them to
succeed in their educational pursuits. Parents should
encourage their wards to face their studies squarely and
work hard to earn their grades, while teachers should be
more innovative to empower students to face examinations with confidence and pass well on their own.
In addition, corrupt officials should be held responsible
for their roles, while concerted efforts must be made to
upgrade moribund educational facilities in public schools
to promote teaching and learning.
A lot more determined efforts must be made to deal
with the menace of examination malpractice, and there
should also be a collective responsibility to achieve zero
malpractice in our examinations.