Chief Executive Director of the National Watch for Examination Malpractice (NaWEM), Pastor Richmond Theophilus Cole, has condemned the just concluded West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) that was conducted by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) on the grounds of massive examination malpractices.

The Calabash Newspaper reports that He mentioned that Education in Sierra Leone has drastically declined over the couple of decades.

“We have no value in our certificates issued all because students could no longer defend what they have acquired from various institutions or universities,” he lamented adding how the free and quality education cannot reflect itself if we are not corrupt free from examination malpractices.

He stated that Sierra Leone was once called the “Athens of West Africa” but today all have been lost because of illegalities and bad practices.

The Chief Executive Director furthered that examination malpractices within the Sierra Leone educational system are widely discussed as cankerworms that pose great threats to the veracity of educational qualifications.

He continued that they are major challenges to examination bodies, the Government of Sierra Leone, schools, administrators and parents.

According to him, examination is the measurement of proficiency in knowledge and skills, either in oral or written forms, and the evaluation of the adequacy of these properties possessed by candidates.

According to him an examination is the pivot around which the whole educational system revolves hence the need for the intervention of the National Watch for Examination Malpractice (NaWEM).

The Chief Executive Director said that many of the irregular and inconsistent behaviour or misconduct relating to examinations came at an alarming rate in the last three decades and the worse that happened was during the just concluded West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE). He stated that exam malpractices are becoming uncontrollable if measures are not put in place.

He lamented that it is really disheartening to see those that are not expected to fully involve into examination malpractices do so and for others it is considered as a way of enriching themselves.

The Chief Executive Director said during a conducted tour and with reports coming from supervisors across the country they have identified centers, with evidences at hand, that were engaged in massive exam malpractices in the just concluded WASSCE examination.

He said that information will be submitted to the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, the Commissioner of the Anti – Corruption Commission, the West Africa Examination Council to take drastic action.

He said 70% of examination centers they visited were fully involved in examination malpractices. Invigilators and other officials conducting the examination were helping the students with materials that are relevant and relating to the particular subjects taken on a particular day. He said in some instances the students gave amounts of money for them to be helped.

He furthered that students were allowed to use their mobile phones, officials were in the habit of printing out question papers and do the answer on them at a price for those who can afford.

“A particular subject that should be taken by the students will be out a day before the conduct of the examination,” he bemoaned maintaining that the National Watch for Examination Malpractice (NaWEM) is strongly against examination malpractices and is poised to eradicate them from the educational system in order to restore the lost academic glory in Sierra Leone.

The Chief Executive Director said the hue and cry about examination malpractices, which take place at all levels of the Sierra Leone educational system, is nothing but a reflection of a corrupt society.

He said the society is one which celebrates mediocrity and views cheating as being smart adding how the society does not want to know how an individual achieves success. In actual fact, according to him, examination malpractice is a catalyst to corruption in society.

Pastor Richmond Theophilus Cole expressed the view that if examination malpractices continue quality education will be difficult to achieve and will lead to unqualified graduates that will create little impact based on what they learnt.

He suggested that there should be proper monitoring of the conduct of every public examination and massive sensitization against examination malpractices must be intensified.