Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, former Minister of Science and Technology, on Thursday said that parents could not be exonerated from examination malpractice in Nigeria.
Mr Abubakar said this at the first Examination Malpractice Prevention Summit organised by Zero Tolerance for Social Immoralities Initiative, ZETSI Africa, in Abuja.
He said that examination malpractice was one of the high ranking indices in the destruction of the education system in the country and it was at all levels of the system.
“Education malpractice does not begin and end with exams or at the level of students but it happens even at the level of the staff of the university with many parents supporting it.
“It is not just about sex for grades; within us the academics in the university you cannot rule out completely the issue of examination malpractice; even as a lecturer aspiring to be doctor or a doctor aspiring to be a profession people lobby.
“I have spent all my life in the university system and I know so many things are wrong and I know the fight is not only with those in the education industry, even the parents at times.
“They will call you as head of department and say my ward is coming to your department, why are you telling me that? And for what?
“So parents really are not innocent when it comes to examination malpractice.”
Mr Abubakar commended ZETSI Africa for the initiative to fight examination malpractice and urged other stakeholders to do the same.
Bolaji Abdullahi, former Minister for Youth and Sports, and chairman of the occasion advised students to shun examination malpractice because cheating their way through examination did not reflect that they were educated.
“I urge you all to study and be knowledgeable because the new system does not permit mediocrity.
“You can’t be a computer programmer just by showing a certificate; you will have to prove it.
“So if you cut corners in examination you will end up short changing yourselves because your certificate cannot do your job for you, your knowledge will.
“That is why behind every collapsed building in Nigeria is failed engineer or architect somewhere.
“So cheating in an exam is a waste of time because at the end of the day it may earn you a certificate but it will not give you a life.’’
Mr Abdullahi condemned the acts of parents who supported malpractice and encouraged bad things.
He added that “since this sex for grade issue happened I have heard people say he who has no sin should cast the first stone, are we not ashamed?”
He urged them to choose to walk a different path that is good from their parents and be ethical human being and develop their own standards of morality and pass it to their children.
This, he said would make them to be the generation that would rewrite the history of Nigeria by saying “enough is enough’’ because examination malpractice was just one dimension of the many problems in the country.
The founder of ZETSI Africa, Mr Rasaq Jeje, said that the extent to which the conducts of examination had fast eroded over time due to malpractice rate was alarming.
Mr Jeje said the event was organised to tackle the menace of examination malpractice.
He added that in consolidating the group’s effort in weeding out social immoralities in schools, the group would establish ZETSI Africa Students’ Clubs.
He noted that the group would also strive to sponsor a bill against malpractice and raise ambassadors against malpractice in different schools.