By Chimezie Godfrey
A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Exam Ethics Marshals International, that promotes best practices in education, has urged lawmakers to provide enabling legal framework for stamping out exam malpractice, academic dishonesty, cultism and sexual abuse in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Ike Onyechere, the Chairman of the organization made the call during a press briefing in Abuja, stressing that enabling legal framework is required to stamp out exam practice, sex for grade and cultism in academic institutions in the country.
He pointed out that extant legal and judicial frameworks have proved hopelessly obsolete and ineffective in combating the vices, hence the need for new legislative and judicial agenda.
“Stamping out exam malpractice, academic dishonesty, cultism in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions requires robust and comprehensive new legislative, legal and judicial agenda by federal and state legislative, legal and judicial institutions.
“The sustained and commendable efforts of distinguished Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Senate President, since 2016, towards enacting the sexual harassment in Educational Institutions Prohibition bill is a move in the right direction.
“Other legislatures should take up the challenge of amending the reviewing of the laws for combating cultism and exam malpractice,” he said.
Onyechere stressed that exam malpractice, campus cultism, academic dishonesty, and sex for grades pose existential danger for not only the education system, students, staffs and families but also to national development, security and survival.
He pointed out ten imperatives for stamping out these evil from the institutions, including consensus, education, enlightenment and mobilization and new marshal plan of action.
Others are prioritization, leadership, political will and courage, collaboration and coordination, recognition, enabling legal framework, spiritualisation and sacrifice.
Onyechere among other things emphasized the need for collaboration among institutions to successfully tackle the menace of campus cultism, sex for grades and exam malpractice.
He added that no institution can singlehandedly stamp out exam malpractice and cultism in the country.
“No education ministry, agency, institution, or stakeholder has the capacity and capability to singlehandedly stamp out campus cultism and exam malpractice in Nigeria.
“It is a collective responsibility that requires inter-agency collaboration, co-ordination, facilitation and support.
“It is for this reason that I join other stakeholders to commend all agencies that support inter-agency collaborative efforts,” he said.
He called on the leadership of the federal ministry of education, including the Hon. Minister education, the Minister of state for education, the Nigerian police force, including the Inspector General of Police, among others to work in collaboration to stamp out these evil from the nation’s educational system.