The exercise of measuring the competence levels stances the role of an invigilator in enhancing quality education pivotal
By Abubakar Obilan
It is true that the welfare of a nation cannot be greater than the education of its people. Since the advent of western education in Africa, examination has been the major instrument used for the evaluation, testing and measuring the quality and quantity of knowledge and skills accumulated by individual learner. This is usually done at the end of a teaching process or upon successful completion of a given level of education cycle.
One of the indicators of a good system of education therefore, since education has been adopted as an instrument for national development, is the quality of professionals produced in terms of relevant competences; knowledge, skills and performance needed for social, political and economic development of the nation’s physical and human resources. The exercise of measuring the competence levels stances the role of an invigilator in enhancing quality education pivotal.
When it comes to national examinations, each education system endeavours to establish policies that guide the proceedings of the exercise for an effective and efficient outcome. However, at times even though these guidelines have been established on paper, adequate awareness about the comprehensive procedures among direct stakeholders is questionable.
It should be noted that invigilator’s indolence about his/her job descriptions, jeopardizes the quality of entire education system. Given the nature of these examinations, all education stakeholders; students, teachers, parents, politicians and entire community sometimes even the hired invigilators become candidates who in case of any lapses in the invigilation and supervision process they would exploit it for examination malpractice tendencies.
The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) may endeavour, in preparation for national examinations, to procure the necessary materials to be used. The board may also convene meetings, workshops and conferences for stakeholders; hire necessary manpower, provide security and welfare to enhance the required standards so as to achieve the national education goal.
However, sometimes invigilators tend to abuse such efforts by defying the stipulated procedures; appearing to the examination centres late, reading newspapers/books during examination session or abandoning the exam room for conversations with peers.
This may tempt candidates to get involved in examination malpractice tendencies such as copying or reading from fellow candidates’ scripts or from other unauthorised sources. Such occurrences culminate into the greatest threat to the validity and reliability of any examination and consequently to the authenticity and recognition of certificate issued, which eventually undermines the goal of education of the country.
Certification bodies should ensure adequate sensitisation of invigilators on the relevant examination policies, roles and responsibilities. Adequate storage facilities should be provided. Electronic devices should be used to check students before entering examination halls and if possible, CCTV gargets should be employed especially in the main examination centers. Also, well-experienced professionals (scouts) should be hired to conduct impromptu visits to examination centres to check if exams procedures are well operationalised. Examination security criteria should be ensured, guarantee the welfare of invigilators.
The writer is from Bukedea district