As the National Examinations Council, NECO, considers the adoption of Computer Based Test, CBT, in its drive towards eliminating examination fraud, the Acting Registrar of the Council, Mr Abubakar Gana, has said the agency may only apply the examination method on multiple choice questions.
Gana, who spoke at a One-Day Workshop for Education Correspondents, in Keffi, Nasarawa State, noted that NECO was on course to introduce CBT but was however not specific about when the Council would adopt the examination method.
NECO adopted the use of biometric verification for candidates in its June/July 2019 senior school certificate examination, SSCE, after procuring 8,000 biometric capturing machines to eliminate identity theft and other infractions associated with the conduct of the exercise.
The NECO boss is optimistic that the exam body would adopt other forms of examination technology to fight malpractice.
While expressing confidence that tackling identity theft would address 50 per cent of the problem of examination malpractice, he added that the agency was looking inwards to cleanse the system and flush out bad eggs among its officials.
Gana, who was represented by the Acting Director, Examination Administration, Mr Mustapha Abdul, noted that NECO was vigorously pursuing reforms to effectively gate-keep the examination process and fend off fraudsters.
According to him, it has become necessary for NECO to embark on key reforms which are primarily aimed at addressing the hydra-headed monster, adding that NECO was familiar with happenings in the global examination malpractice arena and already had the solution to the problem.
He further enumerated some of the key reforms carried out by the council to include building of a new corporate website as the old was insecure for its operations, abolishing the use of cards for all Council’s transactions and building the result checking platform on the Council’s new website.
He said NECO also carried out reforms by bringing in more user-friendly National Common Entrance Examination Registration procedure as well as introducing the offline-online registration procedure for the NECO Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE, and introduction of the offline-online registration procedure for the NECO June/July Senior School Certificate Examination, SSCE.
Earlier, a Former Editor of the Nigerian Pilot Newspaper, Dr Austin Maho, urged journalists to shun commercialisation of news and ensure ethical practice in their reportage of educational activities.
Maho stressed the power of the media in sustaining democracy and called for the amendment of the Nigerian constitution to rescind section 45 which allows for gagging of the media.
While speaking on media ownership in the country, he said 80 per cent of the media was owned by politicians, stating that the scenario raises fears that anti-democratic forces could take hold of the media.