• July 15, 2024

Mmesoma: Let Him Without Sin Cast the First Stone

 Mmesoma: Let Him Without Sin Cast the First Stone

One of the issues which have been thrown up recently is the ignoble prevalence of examination malpractice in Nigeria’s education sector. While the menace remains a shameful and atrocious one indeed, some persons seem to have conceded to take it as the route for them to achieve unmerited academic excellence. And since ours is a society where we so much celebrate academic certificates rather than seeing the practical application of the knowledge in solving real-life problems, seeing individuals like Ejikeme Joy Mmesoma, who could go to any lengths to obtain themselves undeserving acclamations, is not surprising.

Ms. Mmesoma, a student at Anglican Girls’ Secondary School, Anambra, has infamously been a major headline in the news in the past few days following a somewhat shocking revelation by made the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board that she dubiously falsified her 2023 Unified Tartary Matriculation Examination (UTME) scores result. The controversial 19-year-old (though some had claimed she was 16) had been an epitome of criticisms, and condemnations, but to some, a subject of pity considering her family’s social status and age. Contrary to her initial refutation of the result adulteration, which had caused outrage and divided many people on social media, Mmesoma has however been indicted to have truly forged her results to deceive unsuspecting members of the public, according to a report by special Inquiry Panel set up by the Anambra State Government. Till now, her motive for such action is yet known even as she claimed that no one aided her in the scandal! Her father who had accused JAMB of staging a conspiracy, has however made a public apology, saying that her daughter lied to him. But one obvious thing in this saga is that Nigeria’s education sector does not only need reforms but also urgently deserves some in-house cleansing.

I surely can attest to the reality that JAMB has, over the years, successfully continued making efforts to thwart any attempt to jeopardise its system. Even though the examination process may not totally be devoid of technical glitches as experienced by many students, the chances of examination malpractice before, during, and after the process are relatively minimal considering the yearly technological innovations put into the system. Unless truly there is the existence of genuine ‘special centers’ and provision for ‘special candidates’, it is almost cumbersome for anyone to outsmart JAMB during the examination, aside if one has devotedly read.

During one of my days when I was a JAMB examination applicant, one of my tutorial masters frankly told some of my mates who were lobbying for help to stop such and squarely face their books and read extensively as there was no easy way to manipulate the system for malpractice. Unlike what is still obtainable in most primary and secondary schools where students could be helped to pass their exams, the JAMB system appears to be exceptional. Perhaps, it is public knowledge that many schools nowadays use different tricks to help their students write national examinations like the National Examination Council, NECO, West African Senior School Certificate, WASSCE, Basic Examination Certificate, General Certificate of Education, and GCE, among others. It is no doubt a business of ‘cool money’ for many school owners, teachers, invigilators, and some officials during the period of these examinations. Even some parents joyfully pay for the service as they want desirable and perfect results for their wards. By implication, it wouldn’t be far-reaching to see those who had got A1 or B2 in English or other subjects in most of these terminal examinations but ended up having embarrassing scores in JAMB in the same subject. Many individuals are out there who cannot easily solve simple arithmetics, but you would see them displaying distinctive grades in Mathematics, and Further Mathematics in many of these Senior Secondary School Certificate examination results.

Moreover, Mmesoma is more or less a reflection of her country. Living in a society where moral decadence has become a major trend, one is already at a dimensional perilous survival. Only a country where professors could involve in electoral malpractices, where lawmakers could break the laws with impunity, where Ph.D. holders could demand sex for grades, and where law enforcement officers could publicly take bribes and abet crimes, where agents of justice could manipulate to pervert justice could breed the type of Mmesoma. Both the government at all levels and the public must, hence, do everything possible to promote our sociocultural norms which give credence to uprightness and upstanding behaviors. The likes of Aminat Yusuf, the Lagos State University record breaker, should be celebrated by making them the face of the public. They also deserve national recognition and commendation!

To conclude, Mmesoma is already bearing the brunt of her action. Aside from withdrawing her authentic 249 scores, JAMB has reportedly banned the young lady from writing the examination for the next three years. The Anambra State government also outright disowned her as one of its indigenes, attaching her to Enugu State. Similarly, Innoson Vehicles has also withdrawn the scholarship initially awarded to her to protect the face and integrity of its company. This is an evidence that shortcuts may someday cut one’s life short in no time!

Damilare Adeleye is a student at Lagos State University.

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