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Stakeholders’ perspectives on “miracle examination centres” in Nigeria

Prince Agwu (Department of Social Work, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria and School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee, Scotland)
Aloysius Odii (Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Tochukwu Orjiakor (Department of Psychology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Pallavi Roy (Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London, UK)
Chidi Nzeadibe (Department of Geography, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Chinyere Onalu (Department of Social Work, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Uzoma Odera Okoye (Department of Social Work, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Obinna Onwujekwe (Department of Health Administration and Management, University of Nigeria, Enugu-Campus, Enugu, Nigeria)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 28 July 2022

Issue publication date: 28 September 2022

21

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to describe the nature and operations of schools commonly regarded as “Miracle Examination Centres (MECs)” in Nigeria, through the lens of stakeholders in education. This study also assessed stakeholders’ perspectives on the possible solutions to the problem of MECs.

Design/methodology/approach

The study design was a stakeholders’ approach involving 39 key actors within the examination system from northern and southern Nigeria. The stakeholders comprised people from the Ministries of Education (MoE), Examination Councils (EC), school owners and teachers, security agencies and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) who were invited to interact, interrogate and debate the subject of MECs in Nigeria. Using thematic analysis, recurrent themes were identified from the data and used for a narrative synthesis of the findings.

Findings

MECs may attempt to circumvent quality assurance and regulatory requirements and may find support from prominent leaders and members of the communities through a wider informal economy. Interventions against MECs might only yield incremental results and must involve various groups like CSOs, anti-corruption agencies, EC and faith- and community-based groups. These interventions will be even more effective if the MoE will strengthen its integrity and improve its monitoring and regulatory functions without political interference.

Originality/value

This paper revealed that improving examination integrity and building a solid and reliable secondary educational level in Nigeria will be achieved through the combination of horizontal and vertical approaches that involve local actors and those in authority.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This publication is an output of the SOAS Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) research consortium funded by UK aid from the UK Government (Contract P0 7073). The views presented in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the UK Government’s official policies or the views of SOAS-ACE or other partner organisations.

Citation

Agwu, P., Odii, A., Orjiakor, T., Roy, P., Nzeadibe, C., Onalu, C., Okoye, U.O. and Onwujekwe, O. (2022), "Stakeholders’ perspectives on “miracle examination centres” in Nigeria", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 539-554. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-12-2021-0193

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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