Evaluating The Influence Of Students Attitudinal Behaviour Towards Examination Malpractice On Their Academic Performance

Project and Seminar Material for Education

Evaluating The Influence Of Students Attitudinal Behaviour Towards Examination Malpractice On Their Academic Performance


The major aim of this project was to carry out an investigation into the influence of students’ attitudinal behaviours towards examination malpractice on their academic performance, in Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State.
In the study, three hypotheses were postulated and tested. The survey design was adopted in this research work in order to carry out an assessment of public opinion of the respondents on the attitudinal behaviour of students towards examination malpractice. The questionnaire technique was used to collect necessary data. The stratified sampling technique was used to collect necessary data. The stratified sampling technique was adopted to select the respondents (male/female) students which represented the entire population of the students in the selected secondary schools.

The t-test statistical tool was used to determine whether there was significant difference between the students who involve themselves in examination malpractice especially in Mathematics and English Language subjects and those who do not.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Olayinka (1998) said that examination malpractice is a “misconduct or improper practice in any examination with a view to obtaining good result through fraudulent means”.

Some of the examination malpractices include: Cheating, giraffing, taking prepared answers to the examination hall, impersonation, writing on pieces of paper and hiding same under the private part, writing on the palms, thighs and using a certain finger to indicate the correct option in the objective test items such as thumb for ‘A’ and the smallest finger for ‘B’ or ‘C’ option. Some unscrupulous invigilators do indulge in dictating the correct answers to students, they also extend the time allocated to the examination paper. Some teachers show examination papers to their favoured students due to gratification either in cash or in kind. All these are examination malpractices.

Some messengers abuse their offices by selling photocopied question papers to their students, parents connive with teachers and students to purchase examination question papers and so on.

The examination malpractices in this country have got to an alarming peak, whereby all concerned citizens are taken aback, thinking whether we have gone beyond redemption point (Olayinka, 1998).

Liman (1997) said that we read daily in nearly all the Nigerian Newspapers reports of fraud here and there. The impression at present is that our governments are touched, institutions of learning are flagrantly defamed, parents are cast down and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) formally untiring, seems to be throwing in the towel by being unable to conduct a hundred percent fraud-free examination any longer.

The practice of examination fraud initiates the manners of a syndicate operation and in keeping with the glorious tradition, its said that whoever that refuses to co-operate is assaulted.

There are the disturbing trend surely and they have serious implications for the educational system whose foundation is threatened.

With teachers and parents so actively involved in this unwanted fraud, the nation faces the prospect of breeding a generation of dishonest youths, half baked college products and invariably, an unreliable labour force for the future.

1.1 Background to the Study

In the Nigerian society today, examination fraud is an important aspect of indiscipline, ineptitude, corruption and other vices that have eaten deep into the fabrics of the Education sector. Examination malpractices spread across the country and involve both sexes irrespective of tribe and religion.

The practice covers various forms of leakages, certificate alteration and forgery, swooping answer scripts, beating up examination invigilator for non-cooperation and so on (Obe, 1996).

Education in Nigeria these days has been seriously undermined by the hydra headed monster called examination malpractice. This is an obvious evil that be bedeviled all the strata of our educational sector. Examination fraud seems to have gained the upper hand and has conquered the morality and religiosity of the students. The attitude of students towards examination malpractices is total and over whelming and almost all caliber of students from secondary to the higher institutions of learning participate in it.

According to Olayinka (1997) our public examinations have lost its credibility, the certificate which is the main reason of participation in examination fraud is questionable in terms of academic excellence and prowess but to the participants the end truly justifies the means because of the facts that Nigeria is now certificate oriented. Olayinka is of the opinion that there are various reports of this unwanted phenomenon know as examination malpractices in all the tiers of our school system, for example the primary, the secondary and the tertiary institutions. At the national level, efforts are being geared towards controlling all forms of indiscipline in all spheres of our national activities, for instance, in 1979, a national conference on discipline and motivation in schools was organized by the National Policy Development Centre (NPDC) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) with the full support of the Federal and State government.

The basic purpose of that conference was amongst other things, to find out the root causes of indiscipline in school system, mostly examination fraud, drug abuse, cultism, prostitution among the female students. It is a truism that of all the notable indiscipline in our school system today, examination malpractice is the worst because it tends to destroy foundation of the Nigerian educational system and lower its standards.

In an attempt to bring about great order to the Nigeria society the military regime of Buhari in (1984) coined an idea of War Against Indiscipline (WAI), which was meant to wage war against prominent vices and to sanitize the society.

To extirpate or control all forms of malpractices, the government of General Babangida in 1996, promulgated a decree covering the miscellaneous offences which included examination malpractices more so with very stiff penalty attached for example cheats at examinations are to serve a jail term of twenty one (21) year. But suffice it say that this heavy penalty did not in any way abate or deter students involvement and their burning attitude towards examination malpractices.

Obviously, it seems that the general attitude of students at all levels of our school system towards examination fraud is high and unabated and this has affected their academic performance greatly for example most students cannot even speak good and passable English not to talk of writing well in English and many students cannot even defend the stolen certificates which they got through Examination malpractices (Ejiogu, 1996) and this has brought disgrace to our educational system and the cheats in particular.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Examination malpractices have been identified with such names as: the monster, national disease, national disgrace, a cancer in educational underbelly.

Examination malpractices, which began as isolated cases of examination leakage and other malpractices in all institutions across the country, have turned out into an avalanche, thus calling to question, the credibility of admissions and assessments based on examinations held within the country (Obe, 1992).

The problems of examination fraud to the growth and development of our educational sector are enormous. The three of examination malpractices over the years, grown gigantic satanic roots spreading its tentacles to even the most revealed of Nigeria institutions and examination bodies.

The problem is not just associated with the lower examination bodies like (WAEC, JAMB or NECO) it is not strange to the higher institutions such as the medical examinations, the law school examinations and so on. The most striking issues is that students of various beliefs and faiths, for example, religious fanatics who belong to Muslim or Christian religious are often times found to be victims of this moral misconduct called examination malpractice.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of students attitudinal. behaviours towards examination malpractice on their academic performance.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were posed to guide the conduct of this study.

  1. To what extent can the problem of examination malpractice be solved?
  2. How can we identify the culprits of examination malpractice?
  3. How do we determine the extent of damages examination malpractices has done to our educational system?
  4. To what extent does examination malpractice affect the academic performance of students?
  5. Who do we blame for examination malpractice?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated and tested:

  1. Students’ involvement in examination malpractice does not significantly affect their academic performance in mathematics.
  2. There will be no significant difference between the involvement of male and female students in examination malpractice.
  3. There is no significant influence of students behaviour towards examination malpractice on their academic performance in English language subject.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This research work is going to assist in many ways in proffering solution to the problem of examination malpractice in Nigeria and in Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State in particular for example.

  1. The solutions provided by this study will go a long way in helping the government and the Ministry of Education to tackle the problem of examination malpractice.
  2. This investigation will enable students to understand the effect of examination malpractice n their academic performance.
  3. Also the society will benefit from the investigation as well as the solution proffered in this study.
  4. This work will help parents, teachers and examination officers to know the dangers involved in aiding or abetting their children or students to cheat in examinations.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will cover the causes, effects and solution to the examination malpractice in the educational sector, especially in the Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State.

This study has been limited in order to have an in depth study of students behaviours towards examination malpractice on their academic performance. This is because the issue of examination malpractice is national phenomenon that cut across all the sectors of our educational sector in Nigeria.

1.8 Definition of Terms

To make this study understandable, all ambiguous words and terms are operationally defined thus:

i. Examination Malpractice:

This is misconduct or improper practice in any examination with a view to obtaining good result through fraudulent names (Olayinka 1998).

ii. Fraudulent:

The advanced learners dictionary defines fraudulent as something got or done by deceiving or through deceit.

Chapter Five

Discussion, Summary and Conclusion

This chapter dealt with the discussion of findings, educational implication of the study, limitations of the study, suggestions for further study, recommendations, summary of the study and conclusion. Meanwhile, discussion of the findings will be presented in the categories of sections A and B, but in accordance with the research questions in each category.

5.1 Discussion of the Findings

Research Question 1: To what extent can the problem of examination malpractice be solved?

In table v which showed the results of the above question, it was discovered that adequate funding of secondary education, employment of qualified and dedicated teachers, student desire to acquire knowledge, adequate check of entry requirements and qualifications, as well as adequate sitting arrangements during examination constitute part of how the examination frauds could be remedied.

The findings are in consonants with Shonekan (2011) who partly proffers „provision of adequate facilities in terms of textbooks, well-equipped laboratories, classroom, conducive teaching and learning atmosphere and covering of syllabuses by the teachers‟ as probable solution to examination malpractices.

Research question 2: What are the effects of examination malpractices on the performance of students?

Table IV presented the result of the findings based on the above research question and revealed that impairment of the objectives of secondary education, discouragement of good student from studying hard, cancellation of examination / confiscation of results, poor performance of secondary school students at work places, as well as, de-recognition of secondary school students, constitutes the effects of examination fraud on the performance of secondary school students.

In line with the findings, Falade (2012), observed that West African Examination Council (WAEC) has decided to cancel in its entirely some of the withheld results of November/December 2011 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) based on the decision of the Nigerian Examination Committee‟s (NEC) recommended sanctions. In the same way Jimoh (2009), lamented that examination frauds lead to loss of ones integrity, bread unproductive and non-functional graduates. The findings of the research questions are in line with these previous researchers.

Section B (Teachers responses)

Research question 4:How do we determine the extent of damages examination malpractices has done to our educational system Table Vii presented the summary and findings for the above question, and revealed the followings are the effects of examination malpractice on the performance of students: emergence of bad reputation to the school found guilty, fasten the destruction of the standard of education, parents withdrawal of their children from the affected school, employers loss of confidence in the educational system, as well as the inability of students/graduates to prove the worth of the certificate. According to Edikpa (2006), examination malpractices have continued to threaten the relevance and quality of education. This also suggests that confidence in our educational system is now eluded, as employers have devised a new way of testing graduates seeking for job, in as much as, the candidates may possess first-class honour.

Research question 3: What are the control measures in bringing about solutions for examination malpractices?

In table Viii, the findings of the above question were revealed. These include the control measures are as follows:
safe keeping of examination questions and answered scripts, adequate spacing of students during examination, re-orientation of invigilators/supervisors and teachers on examination ethics, adequate funding of school in all ramification, self discipline on the part of both teachers and invigilators.

In the words of Shonekan (2011), adequate and large examination halls, employment of school guidance counselors to counsel students, as well as the increment of supervisors and invigilators in the examination hall, constitute part of the ways that examination frauds could be arrested.

5.2 Educational Implication of the Study

The results of the study have exposed some educational areas where attention should be paid to. It is not an exaggeration to say that examination misconduct is prevalent in secondary schools especially in Surulere Local Government Area in Lagos State. This ugly situation is engendered by the students desire to obtain excellent performance in examination, so as to present themselves as proud children to their parents.

The study also exposed various forms of malpractices students perpetrate and their reasons for doing so, i.e. the causes and the aftermath of the act. This is because in a society that examination is predominant, its impact are visibly seen in the type of human resources the educational system has trained.

Students‟ academic laziness, truancy, corruption and indiscipline among teachers are some of the factors identified by the study to contribute to examination malpractices. Educationally, this implies that students should be motivated to develop the habit of serious reading. If possible, adequate attendance to lessons should be encouraged and reinforced.

On the part of the teachers, the stakeholders in education should re-orient teachers who are corrupt and irresponsible. They should be treated with disdain so as to serve as warming to other intended teachers and s…. such away from engaging in such unwholesome act.

School timetable entry into our secondary schools, qualities of teachers, etc should be properly checked by the stakeholders in education to help checkmate the ugly trend of examination misconduct among secondary schools and other levels of schools.

5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings made so far, the researchers wish to recommend the following;

  1. There should be re-orientation towards moral values. Moral instructions that can adequately provide the understanding of the ills in examination malpractice should constitute part of their curricular.
  2. Logistic value should be applied. There should be proper control of the supply, distribution and custodian of examination materials should be made in order to avoid leakage.
  3. There should be a serious re-orientation of the Nigerian society on discipline monetary or material achievement such as certificates.
  4. The guidance and counseling services in secondary schools should also help to offer guidance to the students in their choices of subject according to their individual and natural abilities and interests.
  5. Secondary schools that are found in such ugly acts should be banned for a period of time, and the names of such schools and their officials involved should be announced and finally publicized so as to serve as a deterant in intending schools.
  6. The government should encourage and motivate the school administrators by ensuring that they are all well paid and ensure that their conditions of service are secured. There is need for adequate provision of educational materials and facilities that will be conducive and motivate both the students and teachers for proper and effective teaching and learning. The teeming popularity of students should also be considered in the course of all these, to minimize examination malpractice.
  7. Charity they say begins at home. Parents should extol hard work, dignity of labour and discouraged dubious and fraudulent behaviour such as providing their wards with money to obtain marks or question papers. They should make out time to check the performance of their children and start on time to help them in difficult areas or even pay private teachers to aid them at home instead of buying marks for them. This will help curb the ugly malaise of examination malpractice.

5.4 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, it has been seen by other learned people that this examination malpractices could be traced as far back as 1914, so many years age before WAEC was established. In other words, examination is not a thing of today. This paper has taken a cursory look at the concept of examination malpractice among secondary school students. it identified its causes, forms and effects. The paper also highlighted the solutions that can help to bring lasting solutions to the deadly cankerworm.

Every problem has a solution. What it takes to eradicate examination malpractice in secondary schools is to encourage and motivate students to read and the teachers to discipline themselves and maintain discipline in all ramifications. Both people should imbibe good moral values. The parents at home should try and inculcate good moral to their wards. This is because the teachers, students and parents are in a better position to eradicate it since every effort at committing examination malpractice is to get excellent results and amiable certificates to be employable and make money. The teachers and students have roles to play in order to eradicate examination malpractice.

Again, if the saying that the youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow is valid, then everybody must make „an to nip‟ this horrifying situation in the bud for a better standard in our secondary and other levels of education.

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