The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has said it has the capability to detect and punish candidates who benefit from the fraudulent activities of operators of websites who illegally provide answers to its examinations.
This position follows criticism that the integrity of the 2018 May/June SSCE has been tainted by the exposure of real-time sale of answers to candidates by some online platforms.
The council said it also introduced strict measures to curb malpractices in the ongoing examination.
Checks revealed at least five online platforms providing questions and solutions in all subjects in real time to candidates upon the payment of N400 or N800 to the platforms through GSM recharge cards.
The online sites visited by this newspaper are Naijaclass.com, Examcrown.com, Exponet.com, examsort.com and Gurus.com.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of Education Rights Campaign (ERC) said examination malpractice has been taken to a whole new level and it shows the connivance of officials of the examination body.
The civil society group also demanded an immediate public probe of “this shocking development and appropriate punishment for those responsible.”
In a statement issued on Sunday, WAEC said through its spokesperson, Demianus Ojijeogu, that some of the measures taken by the council to avoid question papers and solutions getting into th wrong hands is the cancellation of entire results of candidates who are caught with phones and other electronic devices in the examination hall.
“Some of the measures includes thorough searching of the candidates before entering the examination hall; banning of supervisors and invigilators from taking their mobile phones and other electronic device into the examination hall; briefing of school principals on their vicarious liability should any of their candidates be caught with mobile phones or other electronic devices in the examination hall,” the statement said.
It further said the council discovered that question papers of previous examinations were photo shopped by the online platforms to scam candidates who patronise the websites and whatsapp platforms.
The statement said the integrity of the ongoing 2018 SSCE for school candidates has not been compromised “as no single case of leakage or foreknowledge has been established”.
“Leakage can be said to have occurred when the question papers get into the hands of individuals who are not supposed to have them before the time scheduled on the time table,” the statement said.