The Causes and Effects of Examination Malpractices on Educational Standard

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Published on International Journal of Social, Politics & Humanities
Publication Date: April 11, 2019

KOLAWOLE Oladotun Paul
M.A Religious Studies in View
Olabisis Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye

Journal Full Text PDF: The Causes and Effects of Examination Malpractices on Educational Standard (A Case Study of Selected Secondary Schools in Oyun Local Goverment Area of Kwara State).

Examination malpractice is a serious problem in Nigerian educational institutions and especially in secondary schools. Examination malpractice is a notable reality in Nigeria but with many negative consequences. The presence of examination malpractice is a threat to the stability of educational institutions and the society at large. Many students, parents, teachers and guardians who partake in it have not realized the long-term consequences of examination malpractice. Carrying out a research work on the causes and effects of this menace, especially on the standard of education is necessary. This work employed analytical and descriptive methods with the use of questionnaires to carry out the research. The questionnaires were administered to four selected secondary schools in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

Keywords: Examination, Malpractice, Institutions, Student, Teachers and Government.

1. Introduction
Education is very important in every society. Education has the power to enlighten and transform students or pupils. The moral aspect of education particularly makes it indispensable in any community. Education at all levels is examination centered. In the majority of the examinations, the emphasis is on assessment of information/ knowledge. In other words, emphasis is on the memorization of facts. According to Manoharam, “the overall purpose of assessment is to provide valid information about the student for decision-making. Since teachers, students, parents, the public and governmental agencies make many types of decisions, assessment need to be design for a variety of purposes” Assessment procedures and examinations are institutionally created mechanism that serves as a medium to shape the learning process among students.
In the Nigerian school system, various forms of examinations are noticed. These are the entrance examinations, the terminal and promotion examinations, the senior school examinations and the degree or diploma examinations. Students are required to pass any kind of examinations they partake in. But these day’s students now find various means of achieving success in these examinations and of such ways is by cheating in examinations through leakages in examination papers, impersonation, external assistance, coping, smuggling of foreign materials, substitution of script and improper assignment. Examination malpractice remains a thorny issue in Nigerian educational debate. T.U. Umar affirms that, “students were initiated into the conduct of cheating right from primary schools” . He explained further that it came up especially during the common entrance examinations where heads of schools conspire with the teachers to give answers to the pupils. The research asserts that traces of the vice can be seen in educational levels in across Nigeria. In view of this, this work is designed to make efforts in eradicating examination malpractice from our institutions. Since many of the efforts put in place to reduce examination malpractice have not been able to bring a lasting solution, this work approaches the problem of examination malpractice from an analytical and ethical perspective.

1.1 Statement of the Problem
Examination malpractice is a serious threat which defeats the purpose of education. Instead of students reading very hard to be enlightened, they depend on examination malpractice to succeed. Instead of exhibiting moral quality in the society, they embrace immoral acts being perpetrated during examination malpractice and beyond. Examination malpractice has reduced the quality of education and the students in Nigeria, and this has spread right from the primary schools up to the tertiary institutions but the problem is more prevalent in the secondary schools. The reduction in the quality of education and students being produced in most secondary schools in Nigeria is a serious academic and ethical dilemma that this research work addresses.
Examination malpractice is very common in many secondary schools and many secondary school students have been caught in the web of examination malpractice most of the time. This is seen practically when students sit for West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). Examination malpractice does not stop with the various examination bodies mentioned above, it continued even into the higher institutions of learning. Many students who have been involved in such acts in their secondary school days use different means to push their ways through higher institutions. Such means include cultism, female sexual harassment, bribery, etc. Examination malpractice has invariably affected the quality of education and student in Nigeria. The whole academic disposition in Nigeria is becoming a mockery of reality within and outside Nigeria and if the problem is not radically and objectively addressed, dangers loom for both the educational institutions and the students in them. The labour market is already suffering and the high level of immorality in the society and educational institutions particularly can be directly or indirectly traced to examination malpractice. This problem demands sincere response and this provides the justification for this study. Consequently, one can ask: what are the major causes for examination malpractice? Why is so much examination malpractice regardless of the campaign against it? What are the effects of examination malpractice on education and the society at large? How can it be solved? These issues are related to the problem raised above and they should be radically discussed in other to reduce examination malpractice to the barest minimum.

1.2 Purpose of the Study
This study seeks to find out the causes and effects of examination malpractice in selected secondary schools in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State, as a case study to illustrate this national problem. Since examination malpractice is having serious negative effects on the student and the educational integrity of Nigeria, this work is out to echo and open the eyes of the people to the dangers of examination malpractice in various levels of education especially secondary schools. There is no gainsaying that many people are actually ignorant of the long-term consequences of this horrible act knowing well that ignorance is a serious problem in every society. Consequently, this work desires to inform student, parents, teachers, and the society at large to the dangers of examination malpractice.

1.3 Research Questions
The act of examination malpractices gets increased year after year in secondary schools, especially during the writing of the final year examinations commonly called WAEC/SSCE, NECO, NABTEB. Therefore the following research questions will guide this work;
a. What are types of examination malpractice prevalent in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State?
b. Why do students engage in examination malpractice?
c. What are the effects of examination malpractice on students, educational standard/ development and the development of the Nigerian nation?
d. What are the possible lasting solutions to the menace of examination malpractice?

1.4 Scope of the Study
The study is limited to act of examination malpractice in the selected secondary schools in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State. The research is to examine the causes and effects of examination malpractice an educational standard of the school the roles played by students, school administration, teachers, and the non-academic staff such as typist, clerks and messengers are examined. The serious effects of examination malpractice in the secondary schools will be highlighted while ways of reducing it or totally eradicating it are suggested.

1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study is to reveal the depth to which examination malpractice or misconduct have eaten deep into the fabric of our secondary schools (most especially in Kwara State), to discover the forms, causes, effects and permanent cure or solution to the problem of its causes and effects. Also students being enlightened will then preserve the norms and values of the society and the ethics of examination.
Also, it will be of great importance to note that at the completion of this research work, various secondary schools, communities, towns, state and the nation Nigeria at large will find the result of this research work to be beneficial to a great extent; this research work will play an essential role in the standard of education and in the task of economic growth and development. The result from this research work will also provide an ample opportunity for parents to be aware of the role they should play in order to prevent their children from being engaged in examination malpractice.
This work is also significant in that it has narrowed its study of examination malpractice in Nigeria to selected secondary schools in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara state. There is no doubt that many works have been written on examination malpractice in Nigeria, but as far as the researcher is concerned, this is one of the few works to be written with major consideration on selected secondary schools in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State. This work is very significant in this regard and there is no doubt that the data provided and interpreted in this work is original and can be used as a template for further researches on examination malpractice in Nigeria.

Many problems confront Nigeria educational system and institutions prominent among them are the issue of examination malpractice. Some institutions of higher learning can no longer boldly claim to be the citadel of excellence they have hitherto been noted for in Nigeria. The sanctity of examination process has been trivialized by a lot of malpractices. Some recent researches have shown that majority of students who gained admissions into tertiary institutions in Nigeria are products of examination malpractice .
Examination malpractice is a reality in Nigerian educational settings today. To an extent where J.I. Ayeni observes that, “One of the greatest crises which the Nigerian educational system is passing through today is examination malpractice. Apart from cultism, no other problem has generated more serious concern and discussion among the Nigerian populace in recent times than examination malpractice.” Examination malpractice has been seen and defined differently by many scholars. S.O. Oyedokun defines examination malpractice as deliberate act of indiscipline adopted by students or their privileged accomplices to secure facile success and advantage before, during and after the administration of the test or examination. J.O. Adeniyi defines it as an improper or dishonest act associated with examination with a view to obtaining any unmerited advantage. E.O. Agubuabem sees examination malpractice “as any dishonest or deceitful act by candidate or any other person to contravene existing rules and regulations in order to obtain undue reward for oneself and others, or to disfavor anyone or others in any form of assessment or examination in educational system”
In the thinking of Stan, “examination malpractice refers to all unethical practice carried out to influence or enhance the performance of a candidate in an examination, giving the candidate an undue advantage over the other examinees.” According to N.O. Olanipekun, “examination malpractice is failure to carry out proper and honest conditions specified by the Examination body (school authority for example) for the evaluation of students in a programme of studies or any student who before, at, during, or in anticipation of any examination or test goes against the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of an examination is said to have committed examination malpractice or misconduct.”