Examination malpractice is no doubt one of the social issues and problems facing Nigeria and indeed West Africa Today. In a nutshell, the examination can be said to be an act of indiscipline that involves cheating before, during, and after examination either by the students or the teachers. The issue of examination malpractice has eaten deep into the education sector of Nigeria’s Economy. Frankly speaking, the education sector of Nigeria will be like a cat on hot bricks if this issue is not looked into.
Cases of examination malpractice are: awarding of inherited marks to students by teachers either as a result of bribe or preference. Another case of this menace is bribing of supervisors and invigilators in other to give room for the act, bringing into the examination hall already prepared answers to questions, copying from textbooks, exercise books or from a fellow student’s and also buying or obtaining examination papers before the examination takes place. It is important to note that examination malpractice is not all about doing what the students generally know as ‘expo’.
Judging from the above-listed cases one can easily deduce that examination malpractice can simply be said to be writing or passing the exam with an external aid rather than the writers.
So many things are capable of leading students or teachers into examination malpractice. Failure of the students to adequately prepare for the examination before the exam contribute immensely to the propagation of this deadly behavior during exams. When unqualified teachers or lecturers are employed in schools and colleges, it will affect teaching and learning which will eventually lead both students and teachers into malpractice during examination. Non-provision of teaching and learning aids, lack of good laboratory equipment, and libraries equipped with up to date books are all contributors to the ever-rising case of examination malpractice. When students don’t have a library where they can go and update their knowledge when there is no equipment for practical and experiment, what will happen when examination that needs these things surface? The school involved will simply invite a person who has such knowledge to help out their students to avoid mass failure. The high level of corruption in society has affected the students and teachers. Corruption leads teachers and students into examination malpractice.
Examination malpractice establishes the culture of cheating among students. It promotes bribery and corruption. It also promotes laziness, unseriousness, lack of concentration, and a lackadaisical attitude towards learning. It lowers the educational standard and breeds students with bad character and moral bankruptcy.
The alarming part of everything is that the authority of some schools now approves examination malpractice as the best criterion for passing examinations, especially external examination. The school authority might pretend to abhor it and go as far as preaching against it in their internal school examination; but when it comes to that of external, they will do what I call “extorting the students ” to provide the answers to the given questions. What annoys me most is that some schools, especially private schools will learn from 8:am to 5:pm, go back to school on Saturday to learn, and still indulge in this dangerous act. Why not allow the students to apply all they have learned all these long hours? Why not give the student a chance to make use of their brain? What use are the extra lessons the students do? Why then is it important to read and study? What is the essence 9f the huge sum of money which the students pay as school fees? Since at the end of their school day, they can’t develop their view, opinion, and suggestion towards the subjects they were been taught. I think that the subject teachers who facilitate this act are simply showing that they did not teach the students at all.
To avoid the numerous effects of this menace in our country, students caught in it should be suspended or expelled if they are caught during an external exam, their result should be canceled or confiscated by the examination body responsible for that particular exam. Giving intensive moral education to the students by competent and qualified teachers is also advisable. The appointment of teachers found guilty should be terminated for teachers engaged in examination malpractice to be cautious.
Other ways of curbing the menace of examination malpractice are effective supervision of schools by education authorities especially during external examination like the West African Examination Council and The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Exam, etc. Schools and teachers who do not engage in examination malpractice should be recognized, rewarded, and recommended. This reward will encourage such schools, teachers, and even students to continue in that way to receive more of such rewards. On the other hand, it will make other schools who exam malpractice in examinations to emulate the schools who don’t to get their reward. Also, proper counseling of pupils, teachers, and students on the bad effects of examination malpractice in society will do justice to the menace of examination malpractice.
Finally, I believe that strict implementation and execution of the above-listed measures will go a long way in controlling, and if possible stopping the social malady from penetrating the education sector of our dear country’s economy.