1.1 Background to the Study
All over the world in the education sector, the examination process makes the difference in the actualization of the goals of education, Nwadiani (2005:2) asserted that “the goals of national educational systems and indeed national development become like mirage if examination ethics is not encouraged and instituted”. Examination is one of the major means of assessing and evaluating students’ skills, knowledge and attitude in both general and specific areas of studies. Olatunbosun (2009:101) noted that “till date, examinations still remain the best tool for an objective assessment and evaluation of what learners have achieved after a period of schooling”. Therefore, any action that undermines examinations poses a great threat to the validity and reliability of examination results and certification. Unfortunately, the process of examination in Nigerian secondary schools has become a “contemporary shame” according to Nwadiani (2005:3). This of course is due to the phenomenon of examination malpractice that has become endemic in the educational system. Examination malpractice is an act of omission or commission by a person who in anticipation of before, during or after any examination fraudulently secures any unfair advantage 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 issued (FRN, 1999:1).
Onah (2010:58) defined examination malpractice as anything done by an examination candidate that is likely to render the assessment useless.
The history of examination malpractice in Nigeria is not recent. It dates back to the colonial era. According to Kpangban et al (2008), the first examination malpractice in Nigeria was reported in 1914, when there was a leakage of question paper in the Senior Cambridge examination. Since then, the incidence of examination malpractice has lasted long in the country. However, Onuka and Amoo (2011) noted that examination malpractice existed at minimal and in simple unsophisticated forms in the earlier years, but became more pervasive as from the 1970s. It must be noted that in the recent past, the incidence of examination malpractice was not limited to final examinations conducted by public examination bodies alone. It occurs in school assessment, and this is carried over to external examinations especially the ones conducted for certificates or for admission purposes. The incidences of examination malpractice are common everywhere and every examination season witnesses the emergence of new and ingenious ways of cheating. The alarming rate of examination malpractice in secondary schools and other levels of education in Nigeria as witnessed in public examinations such as the Senior School Certificate examination (SSCE). Thus Oneychere (2004) noted that it is almost a routine for students to cheat in both internal and external examinations.
The hues and cries about examination malpractice taking place at all levels of the Nigerian educational system is nothing but a reflection of the decay in the value system of the society. The Nigerian society is that which celebrates mediocrity and views cheating as being smart. The society does not want to know how an individual achieves success. The important thing is the success. In fact in Nigeria the end justifies the means instead of the means justifying the end. In actual fact examination malpractice is a variant of the wrongs and corruption in the society. The politicians employ rigging at elections and enjoy enviable political offices and so do students cheat from primary to tertiary institutions to move from one level of education to another. All sorts of misconducts take place in and around examination venues to take undue advantage of the process and achieve “success”. To make matter worse it is not only students that are involved, Business centres inside or around schools, parents, teachers, school heads, and examination officers all collude with students to perpetrate this misconduct. For Example, It is common during Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination, to see up to 5000 persons in examination centre that has 500 candidates. The other persons who are not writing the examination come around to crowd the venue as aids to those writing the examination. The collusion between two or more of these agents makes it more difficult to combat. Even the penalties stipulated in Act 33 of 1999 constitution ranging from cancellation of results to 21 years jail- term has failed to achieve any significant shift from the cheating culture due to the effect of collusion (Ijaiya, 2004; Oduwaiye, 2014). Due to the problems of examination discussed above, the researcher decides to make this research on curbing examination malpractice in Nigeria for a better and sane society.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to find out the causes and effect of examination Malpractice in Nigeria and also proffer solution on how to curb examination malpractice in Nigeria, specifically this research intends to:
1. To investigate the causes of examination malpractice in Nigeria
2. Find out the effect of examination malpractice on the society and the image of Nigeria educational sector abroad
3. Examine the impact of curbing examination malpractice on the society
1.4 Research Question
1. What are the causes of examination malpractice in Nigeria
2. What is the effect of examination malpractice on the society and the image of Nigeria educational sector abroad
3. What is the impact of curbing examination malpractice on the society and development of Nigeria
1.5 Significance of the Study
This findings will expose the teacher, parents, ministries of education and other stakeholder involve in making and formulating educational policy in Nigeria to different ideas, methods that students uses to engage in different examination malpractice, also the findings in this study will be a starting point of reference to other researcher that will embark on the same topic research. All the school administrative in the tertiary levels would be made to realize and nip examination malpractices in the bud. The findings of the study also to an extent will reveal some of the secrets methods of examination malpractices. The study also will let the students that engage in the practice know the negative effects and the possible punishment available for the offenders, finally this research will proffer some real life solution on to curb examination malpractice in Nigeria and the impact of curbing malpractice on the Nigerian society.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work will examine related concept and literatures on examination malpractice and curbing examination malpractice in Nigeria through secondary method of data gathering.
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