Currently, operations of organisations like corporate bodies, educational institutions, government agencies and even churches, as well as lives of ordinary individuals, are characterised by cyber-technology.
The benefits of the technology, including redefining how programmes are created and delivered, reduction in operation costs, and enhancing learning effectiveness, have made it a must-get system.
Like any element that has become so important in everyday life, it has its challenges, including hacking.
Hacking is the attempt to exploit a computer; the unauthorised access to or control over computer network security systems for some illicit purpose.
It can destroy, steal or even prevent authorised users from accessing the system.
Hence, since the emergence of this evil practice, calls to protect the cyber-systems keep flowing in.
One such call has come from the Consulting President of the Larweh Open University College at Nungua in Accra, Professor Goski Alabi.
Her call is specifically to academic institutions, especially universities, to fortify their cyber-security systems against academic fraud.
The academic, who is also the President of African Council for Distance Education, explains that some university Information Technology (IT) officers manipulate the cyber-systems of their institutions to change the grades of students for money.
One would wonder why students would have to pay for better grades or marks than what they have actually made.
This state of affairs must prompt the universities themselves to interrogate the problem.
It should not be lost on anyone, though, that certain circumstances, including health, psychological and socio-economic factors, can negatively affect the performance of learners.
However, teachers or lecturers who know the capabilities of the students should notice and investigate the problem immediately when the unexpected strikes them and give the students the necessary assistance.
Prof. Alabi’s assertion seems to give the impression that the universities are aware of the problem and so they should do all in their power to check it.
The resolution must include the prosecution of IT officers of cyber-crime.
While solving the problem, its cause(s) must not be ignored.
Students paying money to IT officers can be lazy ones who just coast along but want to cheat the system.
There can also be students who are self-conceited and want to give very good impression of themselves to others.
The truth is that academic performance has a linkage to one’s own intelligence quotient (IQ) and so a beautiful grade would not necessarily translate into wonderful performance.
Can that be a cause of the case where some people’s performance at the workplace vis-à-vis their excellent qualifications is questionable?
The universities should begin to make students aware right from the outset that laziness or ineptitude would not be tolerated.
Then they should strictly be concerned about and follow their performance.
Most of today’s youth love good things but do not want to work for them as they always want to exploit the easy way.
While ensuring that students put in their best, the universities should check the immoral behaviour of some lecturers such as demanding sex for grade.
The ultimate purpose of all the suggestions is for the universities to protect their integrity and image as places for assisting people to genuinely acquire knowledge and skills critical to improving their lives and contributing to national development.