June 30, 2020
By Mohamed Sesay
National Council for Civic Education and Development (NaCCED), has yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Sierra Leone We Want to promote Clean Exams Campaign.
The MOU,which was signed in the office of the National Council for Civic Education and Development, was geared towards curtailing examination malpractices in public exams,as a way of building the required Human Capital Development for the country.
The MOU was also geared towards encouraging pupils/students to stop cheating in examinations, promote students perspectives with regards to honesty in public exams and also to support government to achieve its Free Quality Education Flagship programme.
In his statement, Chairman of NaCCED,Kalilu Tontangi acknowledges the fact that cheating culture in public examinations has become endemic in the educational system in the previous years.
He added that the alarming rate of examination malpractices caused the government and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to institute measures to curb the practice during 2019 examinations, but incredibly he said, some students took to the streets of Freetown demanding their right to cheat in examination.
He said cheating could manifest itself in a form of a dishonest behaviour induced or perpetrated by the students, parents or teachers.
In their work as a government institution committed to promoting civic knowledge, nurturing civil skills and promoting civic action, he said it is part of their mandate at NaCCED to promote ethical behaviour in mounting civic campaign to promote clean exam in the 2020 public examinations.
“The Sierra Leone We want is what we want to achieve. We are not going to rely on any foreign body to create a Sierra Leone that we want. We are all Sierra Leoneans but we have different perspectives as how we want Sierra Leone to look like. But until we take the initiative to begin do things that will lead us to the Sierra Leone we want and we are going to get there. The president and his government have put a lot of emphases on Free Quality Education. We believe in order to achieve that element of it, there has to be a kind of mindset and the kind of discipline that tell us that we should work hard order than going into the examination hall expecting to pass using various means,” he said.
On his part, National Coordinator for The Sierra Leone We Want, Samuel Wise Bangura,said the campaign for ‘Clean Exams’ is to ascertain the need for quality education in the educational system.
He said examination malpractice has become very endemic and systemic in which every player in the educational has to be blamed- be it parents, pupils/students, teachers and government.
He continues that the only way to end the menace in the educational system is to engage every player to ensure that pupils are given quality education which would aid them competing in the universe.
He added that if the country produces bad lawyers, the judiciary will continue to complain, if it produces bad medical doctors, patients will continue to die in hospitals, and if it continues to produce bad journalists, then the information they disseminate would be full of hate messages and misinformation.
He said the only way to change that narrative is to tell pupils that the future is in their hands and that they should not cheat in examinations, and also tell the patents that they should not pay bribe for their children to pass an exam.
He concluded that the Clean Exams campaign is a pilot campaign targeting eighteen (18) schools in the Western Area, targeting candidate that would be taking the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations for the period of three months. “We will not give you false hope that we are going to end cheating in exam because as I mentioned early on, it is an endemic and systemic culture in our educational system. I have had personal chart with the ACC boss as to how we can also talk about their intervention in educational malpractice especially with the backlash they got with regards to the exhibition of those teachers that were caught cheating in exams. Thus, majority of those Sierra Leones, who feel that they can only succeed with cheating, will definitely don’t want this campaign to hold,’’ he said.