Mr Sonny Echono, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education said that the role of innovation in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for assessment of examination bodies would go a long way in curbing examination malpractices.
Echono was speaking at the 37th Annual Conference of the Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA) in Abuja on Monday.
The theme of the conference is tagged” Innovation in Educational Assessment”.
The permanent secretary called on participants to integrate technology and innovation to create efficiency while also leveraging on the bountiful opportunities the end result would bring.
According to him, the world today is evolving into a knowledge-based economy and the benefits accruing from the phenomenon could only be harnessed by countries with the highly skilled and educated labour force.
” President Muhammadu Buhari led administration recognises that Nigeria’s education system must prepare and equip the citizenry to be globally competitive in addition to effectively contributing their quota to national development.
” In achieving these twin goals, I am pleased to inform you that the Federal Government of Nigeria through the ministry has developed an ‘Education for Change’ blueprint.
” This is intended to provide the road map for accelerated delivery of inclusive quality education to Nigerian citizens.”
Echono added that about 1.3 trillion naira had been expended on the sector in the last four years to provide critical education infrastructure while also placing more emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
He, therefore, urged participants at the conference to reflect on the role of innovation on assessment to break new frontiers in education.
Meanwhile, Dr Litsabako Ntoi, President, AEAA said it was important for member countries to share ideas on ways to expand practices toward the attainment of the goal of collective improvement of educational agenda.
Ntoi said that to conquer the educational challenges we face in the 21st century as a continent, there was need to continuously learn from one another.
She noted that the role of ICT in curbing examination malpractices could not be overemphasised as the world was moving towards the fourth industrial revolution.
” Some of the things that relate to examination malpractices are security at large.
” But one of the things we have to move into is cyber security as we are now going electronic when it comes to testing and assessment.
” We have to be able to protect ourselves in electronic manner. As far as malpractice is concerned across Africa, we are trying our best and hope that this innovation will help us reach our goal,” She said.
Also, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, Registrar, West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) said efforts had been put in place to expose the examination to the Computer Based Test(CBT) in order to reduce malpractices.
” What we are trying to do is to ensure that the objective components of our examination is exposed to CBT.
“We also have to look at the readiness of the various government so as to work along to achieve a common goal in curbing malpractices.
Also, Dr Lami Amodu, Chairman, Nigeria National Committee of WAEC urged scholars at the conference to proffer lasting solutions to the challenges of examination malpractices.
She called for attention on the educational assessment for learners with special needs to ensure every child gets equal and fair educational assessment opportunities.
The AEAA is a non-profit making organisation established in 1982 to promote cooperation amongst examining and assessment bodies in Africa.
Among country delegates at the conference include Republic of Botswana, Cameron, Nigeria and Ethiopia.