NECO boss seeks stringent laws to tackle examination malpractice

NECO boss seeks stringent laws to tackle examination malpractice

The Registrar/Chief Executive of the National Examination Council (NECO), Professor Ibrahim Dantani Wushishi, has advocated for the establishment of a comprehensive national examination law to govern all aspects of examinations in Nigeria. This call comes as a response to the persistent threat of examination malpractices, which continue to undermine the integrity of examinations across the country.

Speaking at a one-day retreat organized by NECO in Abuja, titled “Legislative Functions: The Imperatives of Achieving NECO’s Mandate and the Challenges of Examination Legislation in Nigeria,” Wushishi emphasized the need for a unified legal framework to address the challenges faced by examination bodies. He suggested that such legislation could incorporate new technologies like computer-based testing (CBT) and alternative assessment methods while ensuring fairness and security.

Wushishi highlighted the benefits of strong examination legislation, including aligning Nigerian qualifications with international standards, which could enhance educational opportunities and career prospects for students seeking recognition abroad.

He noted that the absence of a comprehensive national examination law has resulted in a patchwork of regulations across examination bodies and individual schools, leaving the system vulnerable to exploitation. He urged for effective examination legislation to address these vulnerabilities and improve the integrity of the examination process.

The challenges facing NECO in fulfilling its mandate, including infrastructure constraints, increased candidate enrollment, inadequate funding, and examination malpractice, underscored the need for a robust legislative framework.

Stakeholders in the education sector present at the event echoed the call for a thorough review of existing laws governing NECO. They emphasized the importance of reforms that reflect technological advancements and evolving educational needs.

Among the dignitaries at the retreat were Governor Mohammed Umar Bago of Niger State, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education Didi Esther Walson-Jack, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, and Senators.

Governor Bago, who chaired the occasion, emphasized the importance of amending existing laws to accommodate technological advancements like artificial intelligence. He urged NECO and stakeholders to broaden their engagement beyond the retreat to develop robust policies and laws.

The Minister of State for Education, Sununu Tanko, represented by Permanent Secretary Didi Esther Walson-Jack, urged participants to actively contribute to discussions to enable NECO to fulfill its mandate effectively. He stressed the urgency of modernizing the legislative framework to address emerging challenges such as examination malpractice and digital transformation

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