The Chief Examiner, Mike Okonkwo National Essay Competition, Prof. Hope Eghagha, who gave this advise added that such habit could spell doom for the society in the future.
Eghagha, who is also the Head of English Department, University of Lagos, said this on during the presentation of prizes to winners of the 2017 MONEC in Lagos. The award presentation also marked the 18th Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture, which was delivered by the President of The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Onikepo Akande.
The annual competition tests the knowledge of secondary school pupils by asking them to write essays on issues of national importance. Alexandra Nwigwe, a pupil of Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Lagos, won the 2017 edition with the theme, Made in Nigeria Goods: Vehicle for National Development. In the second and third positions are Jesuduntan Ipinmoye of Corona Secondary School, Lagos and Gbenga Akingbade of Emerald High School, Lagos, respectively.
Presenting a report on the competition, Eghagha said that 796 entries were received from secondary school pupils all over the country. He, however, added that 27 of them were downloaded from the internet while a web check by the examiners exposed the essays as plagiarised. He also noted that many pupils were not aware of developments in the country, adding that teachers should increase effort to familiarise their pupils with the events that take place in their environment.
He said, “I have been teaching since 1985 at the University of Lagos and I can say that the desperation with which pupils cheat these days is alarming. Some parents help their children to cheat. If you help your son to cheat in an examination, you are sowing a very bad seed. Teach the child at home and let him do extra lesson if you can afford it. But, please, don’t write their homework. Assist them, but don’t write assignments for them.’’
Commending Nwigwe, Eghagha said she demonstrated á high level of intelligence with a good command of the English Language. She should be encouraged to develop her writing skills and perhaps make a career out of writing.’’
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