The backbone of the development of any nation is its quality workforce. No country achieves its development objectives swifter than investing in its human resource. Education is the precursor to knowledge acquisition, skills development, and values ingraining. It is the smithery process of taking raw deposits of talents through the furnace of assessment/exams to add value in individuals and make them true commodities of national and global appeal. It is important for systems that deliver education to do it right because it has the power to cause the “domino effect” on every index of a nation’s development.

It is in this regard that The Sierra Leone We Want, a Project that promotes nationalism and rallies patriotic actions for national development partners with the National Council for Civic Education and Development (NaCCED) to engage pupils across some schools in the Western Area to restore dignity in public exams, encourage hardwork and reward the culture of excellence.

There is no denying the fact that we have an education emergency and the nation’s development stamina is at war with the virus of EXAMS MALPRACTICE.

Tellingly, examination malpractice (academic corruption) damages a nation more than any known virus.

The towering image Sierra Leone once had in education across Africa and the sub-region has been brought to its knees on account of a number of factors. Key among them is the widespread exams malpractice that has infested the education system gravely.

The Professor Gbamanja Report on Education also gave decorous ears to the pangs and pains of our education system. It made the point among other things for the training and development of the capacities of teachers and motivation for quality assurance in the classroom.

Laziness on the part of pupils to study, poor parental supervision, the morbid fear of failure and the tendency to make it by all means necessary, compromised invigilators, failure to complete syllabi and lack of motivation to do what is right account for the prevalent exams malpractice. There is evident endemic rottenness in the crop of students/pupils most schools turn in to colleges/universities every year. It is believed that the syndicated actions of key players: the examining body, school authorities and parents are to blame for this.

Unfortunately, most colleges/universities also provide a haven for products of exams malpractice by their compromising admissions, commercialisation of grades and the infamous sex for grades phenomenon, thereby lowering the bar for quality and grit. This vicious cycle negatively affects the nation. The nation at the receiving end of the blunders in our education system has to bear the burden of bad doctors/nurses who cannot administer proper treatment, bad lawyers who cannot effectively advocate, bad engineers who make deathtraps as roads or infrastructure, bad accountants who cook the books, bad journalists who defame citizens, bad voters who make wrong decisions at the poll for cheap incentives and sentiments.

It is admittedly apparent that the strides of The Sierra Leone We Want and the National Council for Civic Education and Development towards engaging pupils and encouraging them to work hard and refrain from any complexion of exams malpractice will secure the life, pride and sustainable progress of the nation.

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