Graduate Assistant: Anecdotes from the Exam Hall


‘I hate you so much! You are an evil person! I hate you!’

I was add at the receiving end of this vitriolic declaration from a female student yesterday. It wasn’t because I jilted her or failed her or previously abused her. It was simply because I did not allow her to cheat during an exam. She walked up to me after the exam to make her statement because she, and others in the class, wanted to cheat and to the best of my abilities I tried to stop them. Thankfully her spite resulted in a mere shake of the head and the remark ‘one day you will understand what I am doing.’ Her statement got me wondering on my way home: can it be that the Nigerian University student has lowered his standards so low as to regard cheating as a good to be pursued and the invigilator, insofar as he tries to place obstacles, worthy of hate?

I’ve acquired a reputation in my short eight months as a graduate assistant as an ‘evil hateful invigilator’. Few days back I walked into the exam hall of the 200 level students and could hear the groans from most of the class (‘this man has come again!’). One has to be a true rebel to stand one’s ground to a practice  that has become the norm in examination halls all around the country: cheating.

Being a rebel is not easy though and it is easy to avoid responsibility or just switch off. On Tuesday I invigilated an exam were the regular students and the carry-overs were put in separate classes. Some of these carry-overs were my (former) classmates and expected sympathy from me. To avoid difficulties I asked the leader of the exam to put me with the regular students and let some other invigilator handle the carry-overs. ‘They will respect you! You are a lecturer! Don’t be afraid of them!’ was his stout reply. I admit that I was afraid; afraid of being seen as wicked and evil and proud. Now those  very words have been thrown in my face.

I will still be a rebel. Holding on to the fact that cheating is wrong and below our dignity as humans; that a culture of cheating will kill us individually and as a society and a nation. Individually we know the regret we feel for successes ill won and we know what similar forms of cheating has made our leadership into. There is laudable movement of young rebels who are against the culture of cheating at the ballot box. We must not forget that which goes on in our examination halls.

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5 thoughts on “Graduate Assistant: Anecdotes from the Exam Hall

  1. I really commend ur efforts. I’ve always known u’ll be a rebel even wen u were invigilating me in one exam I won’t mention. Keep up d good work. They won’t knw until later. Hope u’re good.

  2. Hahahahaha! I can imagine Ikenna. It is quite funny, but over here, if you cheat, the students give you up pretty fast! There is the need to develop within these students a belief that they can read and understand and have no need to cheat! A healthier reading culture should be encouraged with study groups and all. The students over here party real hard….harder than our students back home that they go home throwing up and drunk every other weekend! But the intensity with which they work is amazing! They work together, they read together, they support each other everywhere else but the exam hall and they’ve got amazing confidence!!!!

  3. Good job Ikenna! In as much as you continue doing the right thing, there would always be haters. You need to teach them that cheating is wrong and can eventually result to so many other things like stealing, lying and so on. Keep it up man!

  4. There is no better life than a life of integrity, you may be seen today as that wicked lecturer but posterity will never forget men who stand for that which is right. My friend I salute your courage. I pray that men of integrity comes up as lecturers in our higher institutions of learning. keep it up.

  5. I can’t stop laughing…The name “ikenna” in front of an exam hall? Hmm, “horror” is an understatement for the ready cheater. Keep up with the good work, you’ve got a good name and a good name is better than riches. God bless you

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