We have been saddened by news about the cancellation of some papers in the ongoing Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
News about the leakage came as a big joke yesterday as people discussed it and largely dismissed it as impossibility. Those who did so have now come to terms with the veracity of a social blemish.
It did not go down well with those who have followed the story of corruption in this country over the years as they dreaded the fact of such leakages becoming a feature of our national life.
The effect of this on the image of education in the country is negative: we would lose face and stand the risk of remaining stuck at the bottom of academic performance as evidenced recently in an international survey.
The cancellation was precipitated by the detection of some leakages through no fault of the children's. It is heartbreaking that children we are molding to take up the responsibilities of running this nation someday are being unwittingly introduced to corruption even in examination.
This development comes at the heels of an editorial we composed to wish the candidates well in their first public examination. We did caution in that piece about the need to steer clear of such introduction. Regrettably, we have been ignored by those obsessed with money and seeking to create the impression of sterling performance by the children.
We take exception to whoever is behind this uncanny introduction to the children who would unfortunately grow up with this blot etched in their minds.
We downplay this incident to the peril of the development of education in the country. We are equally worried that at the end of the day nobody would be sanctioned for the leakage of papers which are supposed to be secured under lock and key by people paid to render this service.
We do not think that this issue should be swept under the carpet because it is part of the corruption malaise that has afflicted this country and continues to remain the theme of many a public discourse because of its magnitude and negative impact on the image of the country.
Merely cancelling papers and not getting the police involved in the not-too-difficult task of tracing the source of the leakage is an irresponsibility we should not condone if we want to sanitise our contaminated society.
Parents, teachers and school heads who encourage the trading in what has assumed the tag of apo, or selling of examination questions, should bow their heads in shame.
Poor children! They would wonder whether it is morally sound to engage in such anomalous deals. Some of them unfortunately have accepted the trading of examination papers as normal and are therefore quick to point at schools whose heads go the extra mile to organise such examination papers for their students. The better the results of a school, the more it would attract patronage from the community.
The children are going to undergo further stress of rewriting the papers, through no fault of most of them.
God save this country.