Saturday, November 9, 2013

Five-year jail term for exam cheats unfair — ICPC

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences
Commission has faulted the five-year jail term proposed for
examination fraudsters. It said the law was unfair to students, who
were not provided with basic learning tools.
It blamed the spate of examination frauds in the country on
infrastructural deficiency in the education sector.
The Chairman, ICPC, Ekpo Nta, in an interview with our correspondent,
said more examination cheats were found in schools where there was
shortage of human and material resources.
He criticised proprietors of schools, both government and private,
saying educational institutions should meet standards or be shut
He said it was time stakeholders examined the structure, which had
been promoting corruption. He added that once the system was
corrected, the individuals would be corrected.
Nta said the last time students accused of exam malpractices were
brought to the commission, he investigated their background and the
schools they came from. He noted that record of exam malpractices was
very low in 'top' schools, including public ones.
"It is very rare. Laboratories, libraries, computers, dormitories,
dining halls and highly qualified teachers are in such schools. How
will a child who has gone through such schools be involved in exam
"By the time you begin to check those arrested for exam malpractices,
they are from community schools, where there is a math teacher for the
whole school; no science teacher. And then, you turn around to arrest
a child who is a victim (of the inadequacies).
"If you prosecute such a child and jail them for five years, when you
never gave them an opportunity, you will only make them toughened
criminals when they are out. You didn't give them a chance in the
first instance, then, you jailed them in addition," the ICPC boss
President Goodluck Jonathan, through the immediate past Education
Minister, Prof. Ruqquayat Rufa'i, had introduced a fine of N200, 000
or five-year jail term or both for examination cheats.
Rufa'i had tabled a memo before the Federal Executive Council, seeking
approval for the enactment of an Act to amend the WAEC Act, CAP W4,
Laws of 2004 to give effect to the revised convention of WAEC, 2003 in
The FEC had approved the amendment, with the office of the
Attorney-General reportedly fine-tuning it, before it was taken to the
National Assembly for passage.

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