A total of 461,012 candidates, yesterday began writing this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination (WAEC), across the country.
The examination is being manned by a large army of supervisors, assistant supervisors and invigilators to ensure that candidates conduct themselves well during the examination.
The examination marks the major step taken by the candidates to scale the first part of their education; from primary education to secondary education.
And depending on how well they performed they continue with their education to the next level.
However, the BECE have been dogged with examination malpractices in the past which have affected many students and damaged the image of the country.
Last year for instance, five leaked papers; Religious and Moral Education 2, English Language 2, Science 2, Mathematics 2 and Social studies 2 were leaked on social media forcing WAEC to cancel them.
Historically, that is not the first time that examination papers are leaking, but the frequency is cause for concern.
Since it was began in 1989, there has been a worrying trend of malpractices that almost always led the examining body to either withhold, or cancel some of the papers.
In fact, it is always a harrowing period for most parents during this period as they have to wait with bated breath for the release of results if the results are cancelled, it becomes a worry not only to parents, but education authorities who have to arrange for the resit of the cancelled papers.
The Times is disturbed, about the increasing trend of malpractices and add its voice to the numerous calls for severe punishment for those who leak the papers.
We believe that when the culprits are severely punished, the malpractices would be minimised.
Cheating in examination, particularly is creating not only a bad name for the BECE, but for the students who engaged in those malpractices at that level.
No doubt, in every examination, one or two candidates may want to cheat, but when it occurs on a large scale as it does in the BECE, then its calls for a concerted efforts to find solution to the problem.
It is against this backdrop that we support the Education Ministry’s effort at ensuring that this year’s BECE will be held without any malpractices. Malpractices whenever they occur tarnish the image of the country.
We call on the students, invigilators and supervisors to resist the temptation of cheating by adhering strictly to the rules and regulation governing the examinations.
We wish all the candidates success in the examinations.