Exam fraud: Edo govt confirms Newspad report

The Edo State government has confirmed report by TheNewspad regarding leaked June 2024 Questions for the Basic Certificate Examinations (BECE) in the State.

TheNewspad reports that malpractice involved some misguided Public and Private school teachers and officials in the State Ministry of Education Examination.

It revelation has exposed the mutual distrust in the much celebrated Governor Godwin Obaseki-led Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme aimed at improving Basic Education.

The Examination Questions, include Mathematics, Culture and Creative Art subjects and few others were leaked ahead of the scheduled commencement date for the examinations.

The facts about the leaked Examination Questions papers were admirably explained during a recent interview on Radio by the State Commissioner for Education, Dr Joan Osa-Oviawe in Benin.

She admitted that it was only Culture and Creative Art subject, comprising three components — Practical, Theory and Continuous Assessment that leaked, had been cancelled by the Ministry, assuring that a new date would be fixed for the conduct of the Examination.

The Commissioner said a meeting was conveyed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry and other Stakeholders, including Parents, Private and Public School teachers, Representatives of Associations of Private School Owners in the State to review the incident and make recommendations.

Dr Oviawe also revealed that Culture and Creative Art Papers are the only Examinations that would be written. It is not the entire Examinations. In fact, we have started marking the Examinations scripts.

She explained that the reintroduced Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) technology on specially printed papers was met to check impersonation of Candidates during the Examinations.

She said OMR was also meant to scale up performance Candidates that sat for the Examinations across the State and create opportunities to improve teaching and learning Module by the Ministry.

The Commissioner also revealed that “now that the scripts are being marked electronically, we (the government) can now do analysis of every Child’s results. We will be able to tell the good people of Edo State within 3-4 weeks how our Children performed in their Examinations across the Board”.

According to Dr Oviawe who blamed parents for leaked Examination questions, noting that “this year unfortunately, our Examination system was under serious attack by unprogressive elements”.

Speaking further, she said, “As a Ministry, we have decided that the conduct of our Examinations must count. But, some parents were teaching their Children the answers at home. So, we are taking serious steps in making sure that we maintain the sanctity of our Examinations”.

But members of the main opposition party in the State has argued that the leaked Questions were planned by the government to close the attainment gap in the EdoBEST school program, a claim that has been denied by the state government.

Also, Educators, especially Edo State private school owners and parents, are demanding transparency and accountability in the way government business is conducted and the sanctioning of culprits regardless of their social status.

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