|Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 2,119,888 members, 4,591,094 topics. Date: Tuesday, 20 November 2018 at 01:00 AM
|Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 5:45pm On May 13, 2013|
Nigerians are not unfamiliar with exam malpractices. Recently, in the course of my service year at a secondary school in Ikom Local Government, I witnessed a new level of malpractices in SSCE (WAEC) that I think should be exposed.
In this memoir, I have chronicled my first-hand experience of this fraud that has been going on for years unhindered.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by Afam4eva(m): 5:47pm On May 13, 2013|
Oya, spit it out.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by Mynd44: 5:50pm On May 13, 2013|
Take no prisoners oooo
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 6:30pm On May 13, 2013|
For some reasons, I have decided to call the name of the town where the school is located Ekirom. Also, I will not be using the real identities of the characters involved, but be assured, this is not a fictional work. Everything I'll be writing is real. I also got to know that what transpired in my school could be considered a child's play when compared to other schools in the same local government.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by Enegod(m): 6:30pm On May 13, 2013|
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 6:34pm On May 13, 2013|
I will start my story with the final day on NYSC Orientation Camp. Updates will be coming later tonight.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by Gbengaslc: 9:05pm On May 13, 2013|
Following bumper to bumper. LOL! At EKIROM
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 9:14pm On May 13, 2013|
I was awoken by the noise of people in the hostel that Tuesday morning. I reached for my waist pouch, brought out my mobile phone and checked the time; it was a few minutes after four. They had been narrating tales of corps members who had taken excessive alcohol the previous night and ended up doing some silly things. It had been rumoured that the payment of allowance was intentionally delayed till the eve of Passing Out Parade (POP) to avoid such extravagant behaviour by Corpers, which in the end seemed to have little effect though.
Still lying on the bed, I reflected on the experience I have had in the camp for the past three weeks. It dawned on me that I had been confined within the walls of Obubra camp for the entire length of that period, save for the endurance trek the previous Saturday that afforded me the opportunity of going through the streets of Obubra township.
I quickly said a short prayer, brought out the bucket of water I had kept under the bunk the previous night and headed outside to have my bath. It was still dark, so I decided to use the open space in front of the hostel. Being the last day of the camping exercise, I was more relaxed knowing that the military men would not come chasing us out to the meditation ground.
When it was 5:00am the central generating set was put on (the camp was not connected to the national grid, so we depended solely on generator). Not long after, the 'Obubra boys' began to show up with chants of 'Bucket to dash', 'Cloth to dash', 'Shoes to dash', soliciting for materials they knew that several corpers would leave behind. Prior to the final day of the orientation camp, their usual chants had been 'Water to fetch', 'Cloth to wash' and the likes.
I had arranged my belongings the previous night so I looked around to ensure I wasn't forgetting anything behind. When it was 6:30am, Ade asked if I was ready so that we would move our things out of the hostel.
"I'm ready", I replied.
"Let's get going, RCCF people will be waiting for us by now", he said.
Ade and I finished from the same institution. He is a tall, skinny young man that doesn't talk too much. We met at the gate on the first day in camp and living next to each other in the hostel brought us closer. We did almost everything together.
We were sweating profusely when we got to RCCF stand at Mami after a few minutes of trekking. My hands were strained as a result of the heavy load. A number of corpers were already on ground arranging their belongings.
"You're welcome brothers", Peter said, as we approached the stand.
Peter was the General Secretary of RCCF in the state. I'd met him a few times prior to the POP and he enlightened me about Cross River state - the people, the advantages and disadvantages associated with each local government, and how friendly and accommodating the people are towards corps members.
He had a handshake with us, and then pointed towards a plastic chair, "Put your things there so that we can properly number them to avoid mix up".
We did, and sat on some of the unoccupied chairs as more corpers arrived with their belongings.
"I want to get something to eat, do you mind joining me?" Jide asked.
"I don't", I replied, and then added "this would be the first time I'd be eating at Mami".
It was still early so many of the restaurants just started preparing their meals. We got to one and were told only white and jollof rice were available, a plate going for N250. We settled for Jollof rice and before we were done more corpers had trooped into the restaurant, some with their 'partners'. We soon left the restaurant for RCCF stand, stayed for a few minutes and then to the Parade Ground. Ade was taking part in the Martial Art, and so proceeded to where his colleagues were gathered while I moved down to the Volleyball court. On display on the court were a number of unclaimed photographs taken by different photographers. I scanned through some of them, then retreated to the edge of the court to sit down and go through some online newspapers on my phone. When it was a few minutes after 9:00 am, I could see the military men from where I was seated driving corps members out of the hostel towards the Parade Ground for the POP. By 10:00 am everything was set for the POP as those taking part in the parade had taken their places. There were four guards in all, with each guard having a commander while the overall commander stood in front of the parade. In the middle of the parade, between 2 and 3 guards were the Colour Party and the Band.
Then the wait for the state governor began. For the next couple of hours he didn't show up. At about 12:30 pm, the governor, represented by the Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development finally showed up at the Parade Ground with his entourage. The POP started straight away with the National and NYSC anthems. The Commissioner inspected the parade, there were speeches from the state coordinator of NYSC and the Commissioner, the Martial Art group had their display - some of them breaking concrete bricks with their head, elbow and fists - as the parade drew to a close. Soon people began sprinting down to their platoon stands to receive their posting letters.
I quietly walked down to my platoon stand, which by then was crowded. The posting letters were arranged serially as the platoon officer called out the state codes.
"963..., 973..., 983..."
"983 is here", I responded.
"Where is your ID card?"
He checked the state code on the ID card and handed my posting letter to me. I moved away from the crowd and glanced through the letter. I had been posted to Community Secondary School, Ekirom in Ikom local government.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by IZUKWU(m): 9:40pm On May 13, 2013|
You say ikom lga,hmmm,well i know ikom, spend over two years there after my youth service though i didn't serve there. I lived in ikom ,itself near velous secondary school opposite their nysc office.i enjoyed that town. Its very lively.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by FoxyVista(m): 9:42pm On May 13, 2013|
Somebody shout hallelujah...
Ride on brother...
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 8:30am On May 14, 2013|
IZUKWU: You say ikom lga,hmmm,well i know ikom, spend over two years there after my youth service though i didn't serve there. I lived in ikom ,itself near velous secondary school opposite their nysc office.i enjoyed that town. Its very lively.
You're right brother, it's a nice place.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by Neduzze5(m): 8:46am On May 14, 2013|
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 5:15pm On May 14, 2013|
I had a feeling of relief and disappointment at the same time - relief because I've heard stories of local government areas without mobile networks and basic facilities (Ikom is not one of those), and disappointment because representatives of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) had assured us when they visited the camp that graduates in engineering disciplines would be posted to places related to their fields.
I left my platoon stand and headed for the RCCF stand at Mami. I met a lot of people there; some with long faces, others looking excited. It was evident that a lot of people were not happy with their Place(s) of Primary Assignment (PPA).
"Where were you posted to?" Peter asked, his face brisking with smiles.
"It's a secondary school in Ikom local government".
"You're lucky because Ikom is one of the best local government areas. Here's the list for people posted to Ikom, put your name down".
Peter later addressed corpers posted to Ikom, informing us that RCCF did not have a Family House in Ikom at the time but would set up one the following month. He handed us over to Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship (NCCF). Meanwhile, Ade was posted to a secondary school in Boki local government, and he looked devastated from the look on his face.
When we got to NCCF stand, there were a lot of people around with their belongings lying on the ground. It was evident that passengers outnumbered the vehicles available.
"Mr. Principle, Mr. Principle...", I heard a feminine voice call from behind. I turned around sharply, and it was a familiar face. It was Bose.
"Good afternoon", I greeted, squeezing out some smiles on my face.
"Where were you posted to?", she asked, showing little sense of courtesy.
"That's good", she said in Yoruba, "We're going to the same local government. I'll repay you for what you did to me yesterday", she continued.
Bose and I met the previous day when I was on a queue to receive the NYSC monthly allowance. It was a long queue and she wanted to jump the queue by coming into my front which I resisted. I made her realise that I don't do it or allow it, stressing that it's a disservice not only to me, but also other patient people behind me on the queue. She seemed unimpressed by my little 'lecture' and begged someone else who allowed her to join the queue.
The travelling arrangement was hectic, but finally, at about 4:30 pm, a six-passenger car going to Ikom came around and I was able to secure a space in the front seat, and in no time, we were out of the Obubra camp.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 8:01pm On May 14, 2013|
We interacted with the driver throughout the course of the journey, asking a lot of questions about Ikom and Cross River people in general.
"Ikom is a good place o", the driver said responding to a question. "After Calabar, na Ikom be the next urban city" he continued.
"Na true say Cross River people dey chop person?", someone asked from the back seat, causing everyone in the vehicle to burst into laughter.
"Na only Ugep people dey chop person o, no be everywhere", he responded.
"Dem talk am for camp say dem don stop am teh teh", the lady sitting beside me said, looking the direction of the driver, visibly terrified.
"Na lie o no let dem deceive you", he replied, looking convinced about what he was saying. He continued, "If dem see say una body dey fresh well well, na to chop be the next thing o".
The lady beside me gave out a heavy sigh, and everyone seemed filled with fear.
"Na God go save us o", someone finally said following a brief moment of silence.
The discussion continued until we got to Ikom. Just as the driver said, the town seemed civilized. Almost all the new generation banks were present, and the streets were clean. The vehicle took us down to the NCCF Family House, where Batches B and C corps members were on hand to welcome us.
When it was 8:00 pm the bell for evening devotion was rung. The devotion was a 30-minute programme, after which the NCCF executives introduced themselves one after the other, and we were intimated with the Dos and Don'ts of the Family House.
It had been a long day. My eyes were heavy with sleep, but bed spaces were at premium. The brothers' room was completely occupied, so I moved to the sitting room, laid a piece of cloth on the floor and slept off...
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by OracleHex(m): 5:09am On May 15, 2013|
Thumbs bro, following with keen interest, yours was better.
I joinEd Martial art in camp and dey promised to send us to Benin, I was even boasting to my friends before P0P dat Benin will be my PPA only to be disappointed when I saw Ovia south lga...I nearly cried
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 6:42pm On May 15, 2013|
Updates on the journey to my PPA shortly...
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 7:01pm On May 15, 2013|
The previous night wasn't one of the greatest nights I've had, but I'd gotten used to that after three grueling weeks at Obubra camp.
I was set for my Place of Primary Assignment as early as 8:30am, putting on my khaki dress. It seemed commercial motorcycle (okada) was the major means of transport in Cross River (except Calabar where it was prohibited), so I didn't waste my time looking for a taxi.
"Na Ekirom I dey go o", I said to a bike man, on motioning him to stop as he rode by.
"Oga corper, the place far o, na only you dey go?", he asked.
We agreed on a price and we were soon off to my PPA. We passed through Okuni, Akam and a number of other villages and after riding for about 25minutes, we arrived at Ekirom.
Ekirom is what you would describe as a typical village. Pieces of land between houses were cultivated and there was no sign of social life in the village. Cocoa, palm, pea and mango trees were almost everywhere. The street road had been overtaken by gully erosion, making it hardly accessible by vehicles.
"Otondo! The latest Otondo in town!" Those were the words I heard as I came down from the bike, in front of the school gate. I looked towards the direction the voice came from and I saw a young man washing some clothes.
"God morning", I said as I moved closer to him.
"I am Uche, one of the corps members serving in this school", he said, his mouth filled with smiles.
He asked me to go into the corpers lodge where there were two other corpers - Victor and Joshua - seated. Joshua was busy marking exam scripts of his students when I walked in. I had a lengthy discussion with them, asking a number of questions about the school, and the community in general. As we discussed one other new corps member, Mary, came in. The two of us left the corpers lodge at once for the Principal's office. The Principal wasn't around so we proceeded to the Vice Principal's office.
"You are welcome my children", he said heartily as we entered his office. He informed us that the Principal would not be coming to school that day because of a meeting she would be attending in Ikom. He put a call through to the Principal, who asked us to meet her in a bank in Ikom.
On our way out of the village we met another corper, Ola, posted to the same school and we informed her of the latest development. The three of us returned to Ikom together.
We met the Principal, Mrs. Margaret Okoh at the bank and she took us to her home from there.
"You're welcome. What can I offer you?", she asked as she ushered us into her apartment in the one-storey building.
"We're fine", we chorused.
"What about drinks?", she asked, and turning to me she continued "will you take beer?"
I was alarmed, I almost laughed out. Offering somebody you're meeting for the first time - in the morning - a bottle of beer! Well, I later got to know that beer was the only drink she had in her refrigerator, and that's how they do it in Ikom.
"No madam", I replied, before quickly adding " I don't take beer".
She laughed and then said "It seems I have gentle corpers this time around."
She sent someone to get us malt drinks as she collected our posting letters. She asked us to write the subjects we could take on a sheet of paper. I wrote Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics and Introductory Technology. As she got to my turn while going through the list of subjects we've written down, she looked elated.
"Oh! You can take Physics, good! We've not had a Physics teacher for a while".
After signing and stamping the posting letters, we informed her that we would like to travel home after the NYSC documentation, until the school resumed the following term. She agreed to this, but that wouldn't include me!
"Physics practical will be coming up in two weeks time", she paused for a moment and then continued "the students don't have anyone to put them through". After much pleading, I agreed that I would return from my journey the following week and organize classes for the students. Little did I know I was in for a rude shock.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 10:33pm On May 15, 2013|
I returned to Ikom the following week as promised, and wasted no time in getting in touch with the Principal at her residence. She called one Mr. James, a Chemistry teacher in the school, who was in charge of getting equipment and materials needed for the practicals to come to her house. After waiting for over an hour, Mr. James finally showed up and we had a discussion on how to go about the practical. We agreed that I would move down to my PPA (Ekirom) the following Monday (the Physics practical was scheduled for Thursday of that week) to start putting the students through the likely questions and how to take readings for each practical.
I was eager to meet the students and see to what we could do within the short time available, not just about the practicals but also the theory. That weekend, I skimmed through the Physics textbooks I brought from home and jotted some things I thought would be of great help to the students. By Sunday evening I'd packaged my belongings nicely, ready to leave the following day. A fellow corps member, Tayo, who was posted to the same school and had been staying at NCCF Family House said he would like to take his belongings down to Ekirom that Monday, so we agreed to move together.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by ninja4life(m): 11:31am On May 16, 2013|
Nice oya come update o
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 12:32pm On May 16, 2013|
ninja4life: Nice oya come update o
Updates coming later in the day.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by Bond008(m): 12:59pm On May 16, 2013|
man oya na. Abi u dey wait till person cry for you?
*seriously this is good. Thumbs up*
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 8:38pm On May 16, 2013|
Tayo and I got to Ekirom as early as 8:45am that Monday. Mr. James wasn’t yet in school when we arrived, so we decided to take our belongings to the corpers’ lodge, where we met Victor, who was the only corper that didn't go on Easter break, and it was from our discussion with him that we got a wind of what was to come.
I discussed my coversation with the Principal with him, explaining how she pleaded with me to resume early.
“Are you sure she told you to resume today?”, he asked, with a feeling of amazement on his face.
“Sure”, I replied, narrating how she pleaded with me to resume early over again.
“Why waste your time teaching them when the answers would still be written on the board for them”, Victor said jovially.
“What! You mean they write on the board for them during exams?” I couldn't hide my disbelief.
"Hey! Sorry o. You're surprised, don't worry you'll get used to it soon", he said, laughing hilariously, and continued, "they will grease your palms anyway".
"I'll never be part of that", I insisted.
Victor informed me that each of the students sitting for WAEC paid a sum of N7000 as 'administrative fee' just for malpractices. He also said most of the students are poor academically, and to prove his point, he brought out scripts of a test he conducted in the previous term, and the highest score was three out of ten, most of them scoring below two.
"How then do these students get promoted", I asked.
He explained that the students would move to another school if they're not promoted, which would drastically reduce the revenue of the school. It was then I got to know that there was no free education programme in Cross River State. Each student was paying over N2000 per term.
My enthusiasm was dampened a little after that conversation but I was hoping things would be different.
By the time I left the corpers' lodge, Mr. James had arrived, so I went to the staff room to meet him.
"Good morning corper".
It was nice seeing him in high spirits. Even more, he was literally in 'high spirit' as odour of alcohol oozed out of his mouth as he spoke to me. After we'd exchanged pleasantries, he brought a sheet of paper out of a brown envelop.
"This is what WAEC sent to us concerning the practical", he said, handing the paper to me.
It's the usual practice of exam bodies to send the list of apparatuses/equipment that would be needed for practicals so that the school would make them available, and from the list, experienced teachers could predict likely questions that could be asked, and thus prepare their students ahead. After going through the list, it was apparent the the practical would border on equilibrium/density, refraction of light through a rectangular glass prism, and resistivity of a constantine wire.
After discussing with Mr. James, I informed him that I would need some things in place at the corpers' lodge for me to stay back in Ekirom for that week. He told me that the Principal had gone for ANCOPSS conference at Makurdi, and he wasn't in a position to provide those things. He however assured me that they had liaised with a Physics teacher in another school to put the students through as far as the practical was concerned, but pleaded with me to come around on Thursday when the practical would come up. If only I knew what he meant by that alliance!
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 7:10pm On May 17, 2013|
Now the real story begins!
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by bankoleben(m): 7:50pm On May 17, 2013|
Thursday soon arrived and I got to Ekirom around 8:30am. I learnt Victor had gone to Ikom so I didn't bother going to corpers' lodge. Only a handful of students were around, standing in groups of twos and threes when I got into the school compound. I moved closer to some of them and asked a few questions about their preparation for the exam. It wasn't long after that when Mr. James arrived, and as usual, he was in 'high spirit'. We talked for a few minutes after which he ordered the students to move into the laboratory.
The sight of the lab from outside alone was discouraging, and moving inside was even more disheartening. There were only a few benches and some stools. No sinks, and if not for a few retort stands and measuring flasks, you'd mistake it for another classroom.
He opened a small office inside the lab where some old and damaged equipment were kept. He brought out, three rectangular glass prisms, four damaged meter rules and three dysfunctional ammeters. Equipment he brought out was no where near what WAEC asked the school to provide.
"Where are the other equipment", I asked.
"These are all we've got, we'll manage them." He knew I wasn't impressed with his response.
He showed me some photocopied papers containing likely questions and their answers, telling me it was prepared by the Physics teacher they liaised with.
When the WAEC invigilator arrived with the question papers, the students were arranged according to their exam numbers while Mr. James asked me to move into the small office where laboratory equipment were kept. After a while, when the paper had started he brought a copy of the question papers and asked me to go through the questions.
The questions were not unfamiliar, the usual questions that had been asked repeatedly by WAEC over the years. Out of curiosity, I moved out of the office to check what was going on. All the students were seated with WAEC questions in front of them doing nothing but looking up as though some sort of manna would fall from heaven. I wasn't surprised because even Isaac Newton, with all his prowess in Physics, would have been helpless without necessary equipment. Of what use are three rectangular glass prisms - without optical pins and plain boards - to thirty students who needed to demonstrate the refraction of light through a glass prism? Outside the lab, Mr. James was busy making calls on his phone. I then returned to my seat in the office.
About an hour after the commencement of the paper, I heard the sound of a motorcycle entering the school compound. Not long after that, Mr. James and a short, dark man walked into the office with some papers. I didn't need a prophet to tell me that the 'manna' the students had been waiting for had arrived, the bye product of Mr. James' alliance with another school. The short man explained some things to Mr. James and left, but not before both of them had agreed on a price. In a moment, Mr. James moved out of the office, cleaned the chalk board and all the students readied themselves to write.
"WELCOME TO CROSS RIVER STATE", I said to myself.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by otokx(m): 8:13pm On May 17, 2013|
Welcome to the Nigerian system.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by chymystique(f): 9:07pm On May 17, 2013|
Loll.. @OP, I knw ur type.. Those kinda stds Dt fink dey r Principled. .. Na now we go knw say Truly if u b Born Again .. Dis is Nigeria, so welcome Aboard to Corruption!... Lolll
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by ACM10: 9:14pm On May 17, 2013|
Are you writing a novel? C'mon don't bore us with your epistle. Keep it short, simple and straight to the point
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by Ekans: 9:30pm On May 17, 2013|
So so sad.Tomorrow,they (students) will end up becoming Phd holders with stories of their shoeless beginnings and who knows,clueless presidents as well.What a shame.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by abes(m): 9:32pm On May 17, 2013|
Your experience was a photocopy of mine, only that I served in Ogoja. It was really bad.
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by roselynbas(f): 9:42pm On May 17, 2013|
ACM10: Are you writing a novel? C'mon don't bore us with your epistle. Keep it short, simple and straight to the point
methuselah, shut your trap! mtccheeew!!
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by roselynbas(f): 9:44pm On May 17, 2013|
bankoleben: Thursday soon arrived and I got to Ekirom around 8:30am. I learnt Victor had gone to Ikom so I didn't bother going to corpers' lodge. Only a handful of students were around, standing in groups of twos and threes when I got into the school compound. I moved closer to some of them and asked a few questions about their preparation for the exam. It wasn't long after that when Mr. James arrived, and as usual, he was in 'high spirit'. We talked for a few minutes after which he ordered the students to move into the laboratory.
Oga, please, can you continue?!
|Re: Cross River And Ssce Fraud: My Nysc Experience by roselynbas(f): 9:48pm On May 17, 2013|
bankoleben: Nigerians are not unfamiliar with exam malpractices. Recently, in the course of my service year at a secondary school in Ikom Local Government, I witnessed a new level of malpractices in SSCE (WAEC) that I think should be exposed.
Shey this one, they copy the answers on the board ni? In the north, they do not fail their students. Please, which is worse?! Truths are written in books, since they know the Nigerian youths are now enlightened people, 'they" now distract them with stupid music, programmes and the likes. watch out brothers!!!
|Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health |
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket
Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2018 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 261