- Programmed eyeglasses, wristwatches used to supply answers
- 118,101 candidates cheated in May/June 2015 exams -WAEC
Despite the efforts of the major school certificate examination body, West African Examinations Council, towards checking examination malpractices in Nigeria, cheats have perfected new strategies to circumvent known measures. Findings by The Point revealed that, during the 2014/15 examinations, unrepentant cheats opted for the use of programmable eyeglasses and wristwatches when most of the loopholes in the past appeared to have been blocked by WAEC.
WAEC officials, it was gathered, also discovered that some schools/ special centres devised stage-like curtain apparatus, opened when “the coast is clear” to expose answers, which had been set on the unveiled chalk board, and closed when an official was approaching. The new methods of cheating, the officials said, were perpetrated at examination centres with the active connivance of invigilators and supervisors.
One of the candidates, who claimed to have engaged in examination malpractice in the last WAEC examination, told our correspondent that he had paid invigilators for the subjects he was not good at before the examination. The candidate, who resides in Ibafo, Ogun State, but spoke on the condition of anonymity, added, “The invigilators would have paid some amount of money to mercenaries hiding in a building near the exam centre; the questions are secretly taken to them. After solving them, they send the answers to us. But some people did not need all that. I noticed one of the students that used a smart wristwatch to get his answers without the attention of the examiners.
“The top part of the wristwatch was analogue, while the lower part was digital and connected to the Internet. He took pictures of the questions with his wristwatch and sent them to someone who was outside the hall and answers were also returned to him. I approached him afterwards and was shocked at how inventive people could be. We are friends now.”
Another candidate, who resides in Ketu, Lagos, said his centre was not a special one, so many of the students, including him, could only keep textbooks and notebooks in the toilet before the examination commenced. “While writing, we took turns to go to the toilet and check for the answers,” the 18-year-old boy, whose names are withheld, said.
But The Point found that, beyond the on-site malpractices, fraudsters now operate a website where answers to the WAEC questions are provided just before the examination starts.
“I smuggled my mobile phone into the exam hall and in the course of the exam, I stylishly removed it from my socks to check up the answers on some websites that provide answers to the questions. The answers are uploaded about an hour to the beginning of the exam,” one of the candidates, who patronised the sites, said.
WAEC CONFIRMS NEW METHODS
Public Affairs Officer, WAEC, Mr. Demianus Ojijeogu, confirmed the use of “programmable eye glasses and wristwatches” to The Point. “Some computer-savvy candidates seem to be taking advantage of the new wearable computing devices, such as smart watches and eyeglasses,” he said.
Ojijeogu further disclosed, “Some schools also use stage-like curtain apparatus to conceal white/chalk boards with answers written on them for candidates to copy. They quickly close the curtain when WAEC officials approach the centres.
“In some cases, it is with the active connivance of their principals and teachers, who are also invigilators in the examination and, in other cases, with the help of the supervisors.”
He highlighted some other easier methods, saying that some candidates were caught receiving assistance from their fellow candidates, teachers, supervisors, invigilators, and from people outside the examination halls.
“Candidates were caught copying from the boards while some absconded from the examination halls to forestall apprehension. Others were caught with mobile phones and other electronic devices while some smuggled answer booklets into the halls. Dangerous weapons were found on candidates while others had multiple
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