Understanding the keywords: Examination malpractice, unethical, negative effect.
When discipline is lacking in a particular person or society, honesty and sincerity will disappear, and that leads to fading one’s integrity. So disastrous the life span of such an individual will be and that affects the society directly or indirectly.
Examination malpractice is a canker worm that is worse than a pandemic disease. Odongbo as cited in Adewale (2) reiterates that examination malpractice refers to an act of wrong doing carried out by a candidate or groups of candidates or any other person with intention to cheat and gain unfair advantage in an examination.
Why some students do at all levels of education cheat during and after the examinations and tests? Who is involved in the process of malpractice? What method is in use to perpetrate the act? What is the degree of negative effects on the individual and society at larger? These and many more questions will be answered in this piece.
Education is a systemic way of imparting knowledge, skills, new ideas, facts, ideologies and information to other people. This process can take place through: indigenous, formal, informal and non-formal. Education, as a process of gaining different knowledge, skills and values, is marked by diversity. On the other hand, malpractice refers to an improper manner of doing something which does not conform with the norms of the society or the doctrine of a Devine religion.
Effect, basically, as a word, wears two caps: negative and positive. In the context of examination malpractice; hardly can there be any plausible positive effect; which of course, creates bad blood for the society-Nigeria. History, indeed, may not forget any society that approves examination malpractice, for its irreparable damages may get into brawl and the earlier to put a damper on it, the better.
Agent of examination malpractice: Virtually, all categories of people contribute to this menace and certainly, its resultant negative effects affect all. Amongst the agents are:
- Parents: Parents and guardians encourage their wards to register for their WASSCE/NECO/NABTEB at the devil’s centers, popularly known as miracle centers where answers to the examinations’ questions are written on the chalk board/white board; or they are dictated verbatim. Or, sometimes, they write on a piece of paper and throw it to the students through the window and it gradually spreads round the hall(s). On many occasions, it turns to rancidity among the students especially after such a particular paper. Unknowingly to students, it is perilous to their grading because majority of the students always write the same thing and the intelligent examiners will quickly notice sameness of answers in their presentations. Will he/she keep quiet? ‘No! ‘The next action is to report to the centre coordinator, of course, that must certainly result to cancellation of that particular subject; so all the students suffer the action, including the innocent ones among them, if there are!
- Students on their own sometimes contribute money to buy examination questions. According to a source, two thousand Naira was contributed in an instance by every student for the purpose. What a miserable exercise? It is also a waste of time, considering the ups and downs- movements they must make that deters them from reading, simply because they are not ready to learn or study hard.
- Supervisors and Invigilators: Some supervisors sometimes collaborate with the invigilators by smuggling out one of the question papers (for the day) to the invigilators, who will equally pass it to the subject teacher to work out the answers, basically because the invigilators had previously collected money from the students. From the money gathered, food is bought, with matching drinks for the supervisor and a chunk of the money is tagged as transportation, handed over to the hungry supervisor. Funny enough, one day, in a village secondary school, food and drinks were served to the supervisor. Immediately after he consumed the food, he slept off; only for him to be woken up after the students had finished the paper. Even glutton minds what it eats. Could the sleep be ordinary?
- Examination Bodies: Examination bodies like WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, UTME etc.; are not spared in this rough and dirty game even though they have been struggling to crush out the menace. Late registration and overshooting the limit of registration that does not allow the supervisor to move round the classes of examination once .Here, impersonation during registration comes in and at the same time, inability of the supervisor to check and sign the students’ registration forms stands a better chance for both the students and the invigilators. Registration of the impersonators is another type of pre-examination malpractice (Adewale 5).
- Schools: It is pertinent to know that students’ scores in biweekly continuous assessment (CA) are inflated even before submitting them to the examination bodies. Very disappointingly noticed is the fact that some teachers did not inflate scores because of money; but because such students are well known by the teachers, or, they attend the same church, or Mosque, or the teachers involved are friends to the students’ parents or neighbours. For a well-trained teacher, what has religion gotten to do with students’ academic performance? What has neighbourhood gotten to do with the student’s ability?
- Community where schools are established: During a final examination of some SS3 students, the supervisor brought the question papers late because he had a delay at the bank, and later, he could not get a motor cycle (Okada) on time. The students had to be moved to the village’s head’s resident in order to make use of his generator. He who plays the piper certainly dictates it.
- Banks should be charged with the acts of 100% trust and they (banks) should stop being betrayers of the trust. The examination bags should not be opened privately secretly to avoid leakages of questions.
- Printers, typists and those who set questions need to be treated like the staff of minting and printing. Thorough checks before, during and after each day’s job and use of phones be deprived, while CCT cameras are always on a standby mode with trust worthy monitoring personnel
- Ministry of Education/Board: Inadequate number of inspectors is also a contributory factor because the available number of inspectorate team cannot go round all schools at the same time. Besides, some jamboree reception is deceptible and distracts some of the teams and serves as a hindrance to the real assignment.
- Social media: Text messages, twitter, LinkedIn, goggle are aiding gadgets to unethical dealings during after the examinations. However, the sharing of WAEC’s calculator remains a very welcomed idea, with the greater hope that others will take a cue.
Examination Malpractice in the Higher Institution: The attitude of money for hand, back for ground is no more a news in the tertiary institutions among male lecturers and female students. A Nigerian originator of Fuji Music (Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, MFR), once artistically illustrated the wrongful act in one of his records, titled: The Truth (SKOLP 52). Also, the typists of the departments or Faculties are sometimes the instruments. Male students, however, are demanded to wet the ground in order to pass or have good grades. Threats by the cultists remains another tape worm that behoves the examination malpractice, undoubtedly. Persistent Strike can also not be ruled out as one of the causes of the scourge.
- Negative Effects of Examination Malpractice : Below are some of the negative effects:
- (1)At graduation, half-baked graduands are produced and such remains as destroyers of every sector they finally find themselves. A typical example was the situation a senior lecturer, whose mother became indisposed. Unfortunately, the mother of the lecturer was admitted at the hospital where the medical doctor works. Along the line, the mother died due to a blunder made by the doctor. While the news reached the lecturer, he regretted his action of finally passing his student who had failed a particular course three time during his university days who happened to the senior lecturer’s student.
- (2)Such a person becomes unproductive at service, whether public or private. So, he or she becomes a fish out of water.
- (3)Since such a person bought his way out of the higher institution, he finds a means to corrupt the society he belongs.
- (4)Examination malpractice contributes to societal degradation and retardation
- (5)Killing of human intellect and dissemination of wrong information becomes rampant’
- It breeds the egg of disrespect between the teachers and students. Just of recent, an invigilator and a student logged it out in a physical combat while examination was on.
Someone may wish to ask me for the solutions to the discussed plights of examination malpractices, right? The solution is YOU and I! Thank you for reading.