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By Bertrand Okeomah

Any parent who helps his or her kid to cheat in an exam, has begun to pave the way of crime or poverty for such a kid.

Indeed helping your kid to do evil is the most fatal seed a parent would sow in the life of a kid.

The Igbo say, “A child whose father sends to steal uses his leg to break down the door”.

It is bad enough when parents let their kids see or know when they do evil.

But it is worse when parents aid or abet the evil acts of their kids. It usually shreds the destiny of such kids.

But I see this daily in our socio-political life.

I see parents help their kids to go into yahoo-yahoo, prostitution, banditry, terrorism, or other forms of crime.

I took my daughter on Friday May 6, 2022 to sit for JAMB.

IPOB had declared sit-at-home that day due to President Buhari’s visit to Ebonyi State.

So when I learnt her Centre was at Nvosi in Isiala-Ngwa South LG, which is deep inside Ngwa land, I was disturbed.

But I braved it and we went.

When we got there, I loved the scene!

Beautiful. Serene. Well-mowed lawns. Well-cut flowers.

It was just too pretty and too picturesque for a village school.

It sits beside a long stretch of road that Dr. Alex Otti attracted for his people.

This helped to enhance the beauty of the place.

The candidates were taken in batches to the exam hall.

This was some distance away from the gate where parents were milling around or sitting in their cars.

I was happy there was no incidence of exam fraud in this Centre that I know of until we left.

The school is probably a decent one which didn’t permit such nefarious acts.

So if any parent had exam fraud in mind, he or she would be mortally disappointed.

But when I got home, my wife told me of another JAMB Centre that wasn’t decent at all.

She had gone to visit her mom whose home neighboured this particular Centre.

She said her mom was beside herself with rage. She kept spitting, “Nigeria #emebiala, Nigeria is ruined!”

She told her how parents besieged a nearby house, paying and receiving solutions to JAMB questions which they sent to their kids in the exam hall.

I was nonplussed. Is that possible?

I thought the computerisation of the exam has nullified all acts of exam fraud.

Then I recalled that Nigerians have a genius for undermining systems.

So I decided to find out how they did it.

But suddenly I had a flash of insight.

It occurred to me that some fellows could register some ghost students.

Then in cahoots with schools where such names appeared, would use the space of such ghost students to write the exam and sell the answers.

If such acts start and end at the student-teacher level, I will deem it bad but not fatal.

Such kids could be taught the right conduct by their parents at home.

But when parents involve themselves in such acts, it becomes a terminal and fatal tragedy.

This has ruined the future and fortune of many kids.

Failure of parents in Nigeria today is like the failure of the last gatekeeper we need to stop societal decay – since MOST imams, pastors, teachers and political rulers have failed us

This explains why kids of today commit eerie crimes without any pang of conscience.

It is either their parents taught them to do so, or they saw them involved in such crimes and copied them.

No wonder such kids can kill a man, cut off his head, and then kick it around like a football.

No wonder such kids are so steeped in Practical Sexology that at 10 years they already had a Masters Degree in the course and could go to Dubai to practice it.

No wonder such kids, even as graduates, can’t fill simple forms when asked to do so.

And today some of them have risen in various spheres of our life, such as our academic ladder, as lecturers

Many of them cannot write good English or express themselves well in it.

And they have become members of ASUU; doing sex-for-grade or fee-for-grade.

Why won’t such ones desire strikes that last for aeons since they don’t know what to teach anyway?

I recall I once pulled my kids from a school where some errant teachers aided students to pass exams in order to earn the proprietor’s praise.

There was also a time I wanted to pull my son from one boarding school to another.

He wrote the admission test, scored very high in English, but had 2 marks below their Maths passmark.

The school placed much premium on Maths.

So they demanded he should repeat JSS 1 if I wanted them to admit him.

I agreed.

But many people felt I was mad. After all, many good schools were ready to admit him.

They also felt I could leave him to continue in his former school. After all he passed his promotional exam.

In any case some parents change schools for their kids to ensure they don’t repeat a class.

But I am not such parents. So I refused.

That singular decision helped him to grow deeper roots in Maths.

It also helped him to make A1 in Maths in WASC.

No wonder Henry Ford said, “Failure is the opportunity to start again more intelligently”.

So failure is not evil; neither is it fatal nor final.

Why is insecurity, terrorism, fraud, and other forms of crime festering in Nigeria today?

Because there is an army of youths who went to school but are not employable.

I run a Management Consulting firm. So I know what I am saying.

Some of those kids want jobs. But once you put them through basic tests, they crash like a pack of cards.

So they have no option than to join criminal gangs!

And they are ready to die or to kill just to have a meal.

That is why I argue that it will take a miracle to end political thuggery in Nigeria.

How is that possible when we have young men and women who can stake their life in a crime that will give them only N1000 or $2?

That is why I also argue that those who help our kids to do exam fraud are worse than armed-robbers or kidnappers or indeed any other kind of criminal.


Because once you damage a child’s intellect, you have rendered that child useless.

And such kids don’t have scruples about going into all forms of crime.

Yes our teachers, politicians, religious leaders and so on have a lot of blame to bear.

But I believe parents are more guilty for this ugly turn of events.

After all charity, they say, begins at home.

So until parents realise that they are the only ones left to serve as inviolable gatekeepers in the life of their kids, so long will our society continue to decay!

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