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The purpose of this research is to investigate the causes of test malpractice among secondary school students in Enugu Education Zone, Enugu State.

It has become widely accepted that the last two decades have seen a high rate of various occurrences of test misconduct, particularly at the post-primary school level.

According to Olatunbosum (2009), every examination witnesses the emergence of new and tactful methods of cheating during examinations, contrary to the common belief that examination is a formal test of someone’s knowledge or ability in a particular subject, particularly through answering questions or practical exercises.

The aforesaid issue has been explored in length under numerous headings and sub-headings that are organised into chapters. For example, chapter one introduces the research topic;

chapter two is primarily a literature review in which the interest of students in their studies as well as the availability of teaching facilities, among other things, are reviewed.

The third chapter discusses the research methods, while the fourth and fifth chapters focus on data analysis and representation, discussion of findings, summary of findings, conclusion, consequences of the study, recommendation, and suggestions for future research.



According to Sulaiman (2008), one of the goals of education in Nigeria is to train young people to face future difficulties and to develop them to meet the nation’s manpower needs.

He also believes that schools should hold exams as a yardstick for evaluation. According to him, an examination is a formal evaluation of someone’s knowledge or skill in a specific area,

usually through answering questions or performing practical exercises. Examination may also be defined as the process by which students are examined or tested to determine the quality of knowledge they have received throughout a given time of study.

According to Olujuwon (2004), the Nigerian educational system is befuddled and disorganised. This is due to stakeholder inconsistency and non-implementation of educational policies,

as well as corruption and corrupt practises. Everyone has issued a rallying cry to re-examine and evaluate the educational system in light of current trends.

According to Aisha (2009), examination malpractices have long been a scourge of the Nigerian educational system. Most outsiders believe that academic credentials provided to Nigerian graduates are no more valuable than the paper on which they are printed.

According to Aisha (2009), examination malpractice is illegal behaviour by a candidate before, during, or after the examination to achieve easy and inexpensive success.

Examination malpractice, according to Sulaimon (2008), is a type of activity that breaches the acceptable laid down rules and regulations of Nigerian institutions.

He went on to say that examination malpractice involves any wrongdoing committed before, during, or after an examination.

According to Suleimon (2008), education, which is a critical tool for nation building, is not given the attention it deserves; the sector is underfunded, and there is no proper plan or policy in place to provide the kind of leadership required in the sector to enable the system to achieve its goals.

Teachers’ welfare is not properly cared for, public schools lack fundamental infrastructural development required to enhance learning, and there is no proper monitoring, as most testing bodies are not constantly regulated.

As a result, examination malpractice has become a worldwide problem. For example, a Ghanianian, Rex Annan, Kumasi, 13th April, 2007 explained that in recent times in Ghana, the occurrences of examination malpractice had assumed an alarming trend;

and that was invariably due to candidate fear of failure, lack of confidence, laziness, and inadequate preparation, and most often their inability to apply themselves to their studies.

Despite the fact that examination malpractices have become a worldwide problem among students, researchers are deeply concerned about determining the root cause of this problem, particularly among secondary school students in Enugu educational zone of Enugu state, Nigeria.

According to Oluyeba and Daramola (1992), examination malpractice is an irregular behaviour displayed by candidates or anyone charged with the conduct of examinations inside the examination hall.

Alternatively, hail may fall before, during, or after the inspection. Azinge (1993) and Imogie (1993) both agreed with this viewpoint. Ahmed (1993) defined examination malpractice as any act of wrongdoing or neglect that violates the rules of accepted practises before, during, and after an examination by anyone in any way.

According to Shonekan (1993), irregularities occur when they are premeditated and sustained by candidates or their agents with the purpose of earning unfair advantages in tests.

According to Afigbo (1993), the problem of test malpractices in Nigeria appears to be as ancient as the advent of the official system of education in Nigeria.

He claims that the first notable instance of examination misconduct occurred in 1914, when the senior Cambridge local examination was leaked.

When two public examinations were leaked in 1963, 1967, 1977, 1981, and 1987, this scenario experienced an unparalleled increase.

These leaks drew the attention of the federal government, which resulted in the creation of Decree 27 of 1973 and subsequent Decree 20 of 1984 to combat examination malpractices; eventually, the Decree stipulated a 21-year prison sentence for offenders.

According to Olujuwon (2004), these and other precautions still do not stop persons from engaging in examination misconduct. In the 1991 WAEC tests, 30, 982 students were involved in examination malpractices, whereas 35, 479 pupils were recorded as being involved in examination malpractices in 1992, according to national dailies at the time.

According to Olujuwon (2004), investigations undertaken by the national accord on Tuesday, June, 1998 revealed how teachers assisted students in engaging in test malpractices by teaching them prior to exam day.

According to the research, the schools concerned are using this tendency to boost their place in the performance rankings, which have become a major indicator for parents when selecting a school for their children as a WAEC examination centre.

In fact, authorities have suffered as a result of students’ involvement in examination malpractices; for example, during the University matriculation examination (UME) conducted by the joint admission and matriculation board (JAMB) in 2002,

the board cancelled the results of approximately 46, 448 candidates who were allegedly involved in examination malpractices, as confirmed by (people’s choice magazine vol. 1 no 8 of 2002).

According to Nwadiani (2005), the worth and functionality of any educational system are determined by its ability to achieve educational goals.

The examination procedure is crucial in educational institutions all around the world. If examination ethics are not encouraged and implemented, the goals of the national education system and, indeed, national progress become a mirage. According to him, examinations are still the best tool for objectively assessing and evaluating what students have learned after a period of study.

As a result, any activity that weakens examination endangers the validity and reliability of examination findings and certification. According to Nwadiani (2005), it is very regrettable that the examination process in Nigeria secondary schools has become a “contemporary shame,”

owing to the phenomena of examination fraud that has become endemic in the education system. He described examination malpractice as the act of pupils cheating in an examination hall.

Furthermore, the examination malpractice Act (1999) defines “examination malpractice as any act or omission or commission by any person who fraudulently secures any unfair advantages for himself or any other person in such a manner that contravenes the rules and regulations to the extent of undermining the validity, reliability, authenticity of the examination and ultimately the integrity of the certificates i

Examination malpractice, according to Oluyebe and Daramola (cited in Alutu and Aluede, 2006), is any irregular behaviour displayed by a candidate or anyone charged with the conduct of the examination before, during, or after the examination that violates the rules and regulations governing the conduct of such examination.

According to Omoluabi and Uzoka, as cited in Atutu and Aluede (2006), Nigeria’s value system has entirely broken down, and both elders and youngsters act without moral qualms.

This is precisely why examination malpractice persists, despite the serious consequences for the nation’s social, political, and economic structures.

The Examination Malpractice Act No. 33 of 1999 sets a minimum penalty of N50,000 (Fifty Thousand Naira Only) and a minimum of five years imprisonment, without the option of fine, for offenders of the act’s offences.

Cheating in examinations, stealing question papers, impersonation, disturbances in examinations, obstruction of supervision, forging of result slip, violation of duty, conspiracy and helping, and other offences are listed.

The government, examination organisations, and other concerned people have made significant efforts to prevent examination malpractice and difficulties linked with examination administration in Nigeria.

Despite the fact that the initiatives appear to be generating some beneficial outcomes, the rate of examination malpractice remains prevalent in the school system.

As a result of their involvement in examination malpractices, the federal ministry of education blacklisted and decertified 324 secondary schools across the country as locations for holding public examinations from 2007 to 2010. (Weekend Times, February 17th and 18th, 2007, page 4).

Examination malpractice distribution in Nigerian secondary schools.
54 16.6 North – Central
08 2.5 North – East
12 3.6 degrees north – west
48 14.8 South – East
116 36.0 South – South
86 26.5 South – West
TOTAL 324 100

SOURCE: Weekend Times, February 17th and 18th, 2007, page 4. The table above depicts the prevalence of examination misconduct in Nigerian secondary schools.

test malpractice may be found in all geopolitical zones in the country, with the south – east geopolitical zone ranking fourth in terms of the number of schools engaging in test malpractice.

It is also worth noting that the Enugu Education Zone is one of the educational zones inside Enugu State, which is also one of the states within the country’s south-east geopolitical zone.

However, the situation of examination malpractice appears to be exacerbated by a broad scale of humiliating involvement of dishonest and selfish professors, school heads, parents, and all those who take part in examination admission (Ijaiya 1998).

According to Badmus (2006) and Aminu (2006), the phenomena of test malpractice is driven by a variety of variables, including a lack of confidence as a result of inadequate preparation, social pressure, societal pressure, parental support, and inadequate educational facilities.

In a similar vein, Awanbor (2005), Nwadiani (2005), Okafor (2006), Ayua (2006), and Azara (2006) identified school programmes, the teaching / learning environment,

the teacher, the over – value of certificates, decadence in Nigeria society, and parental support as some of the factors responsible for examination malpractice in the Nigerian educational system.

The constant scream of rising examination malpractices in our secondary school halls has become a very significant problem for any sensible and responsible citizen.

The lack of staff disciplinary actions, together with parental commitment, has become the key issue that is invariably threatening the survival of students’ academic success in our institutions.

According to Suleimon (2008), examination bodies are part of the problem that leads to examination malpractices in our secondary schools. W.A.E.C., N.E.C.O., JAMB, and other examination bodies in Nigeria,

he claims, are important actors in test misconduct. He believes that the majority of private schools that serve as WAEC or NECO examination centres are havens for exam cheating.

He believes that in most cases, some WAEC external invigilators are bought over, and as a result, all sorts of illegitimate activities may be taking place in those centres;

all of these activities, to a large extent, constitute the problems that the researchers wish to unravel, emphasising the importance of the study.

In fact, the fundamental goal of this research is to identify the reasons of test malpractices among secondary school students in Enugu education zone, Enugu State. Keeping the preceding context in mind, the researchers are particularly interested in using the study to discover:

i. Students’ enthusiasm towards their studies.

ii. The availability of instructional aids or facilities.

iii. One of the elements that contribute to examination misconduct is parental influence.

The study’s importance can be seen both practically and conceptually. For example, Olatunbosu (2009) asserted that a society that places a disproportionate emphasis on goal achievement without a corresponding emphasis on institutionalised means of achieving these goals is bound to exert pressures on some members of the society,

who may eventually resort to the use of any technically expedient means in achieving these goals, regardless of whether the means employed is legitimate or not.

It is important to highlight that Olatunbosun’s philosophy is the fundamental societal notion in terms of examination misconduct.

Currently, there has been a nationwide outcry of examination misconduct at all levels of higher education. There had been a slew of new newspaper articles and radio broadcasts on the subject.

As a result, the researchers expect to find the key reasons of examination malpractices, particularly among secondary school pupils in Enugu Education Zone of Enugu State, among other things.

They will also discover the general effects of the problem and the expected remedy; there is a strong hope that at the end of the research work, the findings and recommendations of the researchers will be of great benefit to the students and the Enugu State post primary school management board (PPSMB).

The researchers would like to cover all secondary schools in the Enugu Educational Zone; but, due to funding restrictions and time constraints, they would like to limit the study to only (5) five secondary schools in the Enugu Educational Zone.

The following research questions were proposed in order to carry out this research work on the cause of examination malpractices among secondary school students in Enugu Education zone very successfully.

i. To what extent does students’ enthusiasm in their studies contribute to examination malpractice among secondary school students in Enugu Education Zone?

ii. To what extent does a shortage of teaching aids or teaching facilities contribute to exam malpractice among secondary school students in the Enugu Education Zone?

iii. How do the societal desire for paper qualifications, as well as parental influence, contribute to examination malpractices among secondary school pupils in the Enugu Education Zone?

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