The Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with West African Examination Council (WAEC) have arrested three teachers and one student for their alleged involvement in examination malpractice.
The Police said the arrest was carried out by the cybercrime unit of the Force in collaboration with West African Examination Council (WAEC).
The suspects are; Ihuokanma Darlington 36, Ernest Kelechi 33, Godstime Onuoha 35, and Uche Chukwuma.
Darlington, a political science graduate form Anambra state University teaches at Okon Grammar school in Anambra state.
Kelechi who is a graduate of Physics from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa, teaches at Community Secondary School, Ogah while Onuoha is HOD mechanical engineering graduate from Federal polytechnic, Nekede. He teaches at Pathway Secondary school in Ngor Okpala in Imo State.
Chukwuma is a student at Charry Secondary school in Rivers State. They were arrested in Imo, Anambra and Rivers states.
The Police said the suspects were involved in the transmission of examination questions and answers of the West African Senior Certificate Examination (WASSCE) through the social media.
Speaking while the suspects were paraded at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, the Force Spokesman, DCP Frank Mba said they were all found to have snapped pictures of the examination questions and their solved solution on the social media.
Mba while condemning their actions said: “It is a social ill that the Police is working collaboratively with the relevant agency to tackle.
“The Nigeria Police Force has in its custody four male suspects who were arrested and investigated for roles they played indirectly facilitating exam malpractice in the just concluded WAEC.
“Paradoxically, out of these four suspects, three of them are teachers and for us, we find this very disturbing. Disturbing because teachers are supposed to help in nurturing the students and also the custodian of the highest level of ethics in our educational system.
“They are supposed to protect and strengthen the integrity of the system and play lead role in ensuring that person’s who are issued with certificate are deserving of the honours that goes with the certificate.
“The suspects all committed the offence using their phones. This highlights some of the challenges associated with the growing use of social media and the revolution that comes with information technology.
“They were transmitting the answer to various question through social media using their smartphones.”
He, however, noted that the Force under the leadership of IGP Adamu has evolved a new mechanism for monitoring students as well as invigilators and supervisors during WAEC, NECO and JAMB examination.
He said: “The Force is collaborating with WAEC authorities to ensure that all forms of exam malpractice are reduced to their barest minimum because we need to restore the glory of the certificate that is issued by the agencies.”
Speaking on what the examination body is doing to reduce the rate of malpractice, the Director of Administration, Yusuf Ari said the perpetrators of the act have improved from analogue cheating to digital.
He said: “One of the biggest challenges of examination bodies in Nigeria and across the globe is the issue of exam malpractice which undermines the integrity of the assessment mechanism and certificates issued to candidates.
“WAEC has tried to fight the fraud and we have tried to stay steps ahead of the perpetrators. It used to be analogue method where people try to smuggle in scripts, textbooks, dictate answers, write on boards and so on during examination but with the advent of ICT especially with the use of smartphones, malpractice has gone digital.
“At the beginning of exams when question papers age issued to candidates, they snap the questions and send them out to people who will quickly answer them and upload on mainly WhatsApp platform.”