Examination Malpractice And Certificate Racketeering In Nigeria Schools

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Examination Malpractice And Certificate Racketeering In Nigeria Schools


Abstract


This study was carried out on the examination of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors. The study was anchored on the following objectives; ascertain the prevalence of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors, determine the effect of certificate racketeering in Nigeria educational sector, identify the causes of examination malpractice in Nigerian schools, and find out whether examination malpractice affects the standard/quality of education in Nigeria. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of staff of ministry of education of Nigeria. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 63 respondents and all were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. The hypotheses was tested using Chi-square Statistical tool. The result of the prevalence of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors very high. The study also revealed that certificate racketeering has a negative effect on Nigeria educational sector, and examination malpractice and certificate racketeering affects the standard/quality of education in Nigeria. Therefore, it is recommended that all activities relating to examinations such as question paper production, invigilation, marking and result collation as well as computation should be handled with a high sense of responsibility by those concern. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The rampant occurrence of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in the recent times has become an issue of growing importance and concern in the global education system. Most examinations are marked by complaints of various forms of malpractice, and in most of these examinations, cheating is a recurrent event (Petters & Okon, 2014).

Cheating in examinations is a worldwide phenomenon (Nyamwange, Ondima & Onderi, 2013) and, according to Anderman and Midgley (2000), about 80% of high-achieving high school students and 75% of college students admitted having cheated in an examination. Isangedighi (2007) also observed that the rising wave of examination malpractice amongst today’s youths poses a big challenge to contemporary society. Adams and Esther (2013) lamented that it is regrettable, that in most countries of the world, the examination system is infected with examination misconduct or wrongdoing.

According to Shahid (2007), examinations are designed to evaluate the academic achievement of students and to ascertain whether they have achieved a standard of academic learning and knowledge. Examinations are considered the basis for promotion to higher classes, a source of motivation for learners to advance to additional studies, and a basis for prediction about students’ future education and job aptitudes. Nyamwange et al. (2013) opined that school examinations are a tool for measuring learners’ mastery of content and instructors’ effectiveness in delivering the content at different levels of schooling in education systems all over the world.

Educators have viewed examination malpractice variously. Busayo (2008) viewed examination malpractice as an improper and dishonest act with a view to obtaining an unmerited advantage. Bruno and Obidigbo (2012) viewed examination malpractice as any action carried out by stakeholders such as educational administrators, teachers, parents or students that is likely to render the assessment or examination ineffective or useless. Ifijeh, Michael-Onuoha, Ilogho, and Osinulu (2015) defined examination malpractice as dishonest practice that encompasses any action by an individual or group of students to gain an undue advantage in any form of assessment, be it coursework, tests, or examinations.

In the same vein, Petters and Okon (2014) argued that despite ugly penalties such as suspension, methods of cheating continue to increase in strength and sophistication.

They further argued that examination may no longer be a true test of one’s ability since most students are not serious with their studies and indulge in examination malpractice as a shortcut to success.

Examinations should be reliable and consistent as means of measuring students’ achievement (Wilayat, 2009), however, when irregularities or examination malpractice occurs, then the validity and resulting outcomes become questionable (Akaranga & Ongong, 2013). To this end, Fasasi (2006) concluded that examination malpractice is an unethical act because it encourages mediocrity in the sense that students who succeed through such unorthodox methods may be rated equal to those who struggle on their own to excel.

Petters and Okon (2014) observed that although many efforts have been put forward by different governments, school authorities and individuals to eradicate this malady, in most instances these efforts have proved unsuccessful. Examination malpractice is becoming a menace in many educational systems. Many reasons have been given for the prevalence of examination malpractice, and the causes are thought to be multi-dimensional.
Asante-Kyei and Nduro (2014) listed a number of additional factors that lead to examination malpractice, including cultural practices, school programs, teaching or learning environment, and characteristics of teachers and students. They noted that cheating has become an indicator of a serious breakdown in the cultural structure as a result of the confusion between cultural norms and goals and the capacities of members to act in accordance with it.

According to Anzene (2014), the root causes of examination malpractice include the following: an emphasis on paper qualifications or certificates, inadequate teaching and learning facilities such as classrooms, libraries, laboratories, high student/teacher ratios which in turn affect teaching and learning, poor moral upbringing of some of the youths by parents, and students’ vices such as cultism, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and truancy.

In a study by Suleman, Gul, Ambrin, and Kamran (2015), factors that contribute to examination malpractice at the secondary school level in Kohat Division in Pakistan were also identified. The study found the following as factors that contribute to examination malpractice: corruption, poor implementation of examination rules, poor invigilation, students and parental threats, lack of fear of punishment, inadequate preparation for examinations, and collusion. Other factors included disloyalty of examination bodies, fear of failure, poor morale, and economic depression of supervisory staff. The sample for Suleman et al.’s (2015) study was made up of 840 respondents, selected through simple random sampling technique from 80 all-male secondary schools. A semi-structured questionnaire was used as a research instrument for data collection.

Descriptive statistical analysis, that is, simple percentage, mean, standard deviation as well as inferential statistics was conducted. Specifically, ANOVAs were applied for the statistical analysis of data (Suleman et al., 2015).
Furthermore, the Suleman et al.’s (2015) study revealed that the various forms of examination malpractice included the following: bringing unauthorized materials to the examination hall, sending of prepared answers to students by teachers and parents, impersonation of test takers, leakage of questions and papers, and script-changing.
The study made the following recommendations:

Examination laws and rules should be implemented effectively. Students who are guilty of examination malpractice should be given severe punishment according to examination rules so that it may serve as a lesson to others.
Students should be thoroughly body-searched before entering the examination hall. A system of finger-printing should be introduced for identification of the students to avoid impersonation.

The number of invigilators and supervisors should be increased in the examination halls.

Yusuf, Olofunke, and Bamgbose (2015) investigated undergraduates’ perceptions of factors responsible for examination malpractice in Osun State University in Nigeria.

Their findings revealed poor study habits, poor concentration during lectures, and peer influence. The descriptive study had a sample population of 200 undergraduates. Data collected were analyzed using frequency counts, mean scores, t-test and ANOVAs. The study recommended that functioning counseling units should be established in tertiary institutions to provide guidance to students on educational issues and other related problems. The study also recommended that the school management should enforce strong punitive measures to any students that engage in examination malpractice.

Examination malpractice has many negative impacts. According to Akaranga and Ongong (2013), examination malpractice often leads to expulsion of students from academic institutions. According to Adelakum and Lawal (2008), the effects of examination malpractice are erosion of confidence in the education system and loss of credibility in the education assessment, loss of confidence in examination agencies, which leads to loss of confidence in the certificates that are issued by the agencies, and rising cost of conducting examinations, especially in areas where leakage has been documented.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Exam malpractice has indeed been a societal issue for several decades, but the rate and manner in which it is being committed today is cause for considerable concern. The prevalence of this activity especially in tertiary institutions has grown to the point that there is almost no examination anywhere at all levels and beyond the traditional school system. (Nnam & Inah, 2015; & Ojonemi et al., 2018).

Examination malpractice has tainted the educational system with no bounds, as students, teachers, and even lecturers and governing bodies have all participated in this heinous crime. Its prevalence at all educational level is the biggest challenge to the legitimacy and efficacy of any examination, and to the authenticity and acceptance of school certificates. According to Wilkins(2016), examination malpractice has been rated as one of the greatest aspects of indiscipline that undermine the foundations of educational practice in Nigeria today. The magnitude of this social malaise has become a major source of concern to all the stakeholders in education. Of all the educational problems in Nigeria, none poses a greater threat than the problem of examination fraud. Furthermore, Bernard, (2018), claimed that the major forms of examination malpractice common among undergraduates include; impersonation; bringing in foreign materials (books, calculator); substituting worked scripts, stealing, conve1iing, misappropriating scripts; collusion is the examination hall (copying); mass/organized cheating involving assistance from university staff and outsiders; and insult/assault on supervisors/ invigilators. This trend in examination malpractices is inimical to academic development and advancement of students and needed to be drastically addressed.

Furthermore, certificate racketeering or academic fraud have become the common in the educational system. People no more write exams but just earn certificates. Certificate racketing is an unethical practice in all known religions (with revealed scriptures) in the world. Unethical practices are practices that are against the ethical code of conduct of any university. Such practices include but are not limited to sexual harassment of fellow students, indecent dressing on campus, drug abuse, vandalism and stealing of university property, extortion of money from fellow students, writing projects, assignments and seminar papers for fellow students for financial rewards, embezzlement/ diversion of funds of students’ associations, certificate forgery/racketeering and printing of fake school fees receipts and examination malpractice which has multifarious forms such as leakage of question papers, impersonation, cheating involving collusion, swapping of scripts, assaulting examination invigilators, disorderly behaviour in examination halls and so on. These practices could pose very serious challenges to the entire university system. Unethical practices like examination malpractice, for instance, can diminish the quality of universities and graduates. It can also lead to wastage. Universities spend a lot of money fighting examination malpractice, especially in the area of bringing on campuses, police, and secret agents with their gadgets to stay around the campus during examinations. Examinations are sometimes postponed or repeated when papers leak, and these are inconveniences that cost money, energy and time. In the light of the above, this study seek to evaluate examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors.


1.4. Objectives of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors.

The specific objectives include;

  1. Ascertain the prevalence of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors.
  2. Determine the effect of certificate racketeering in Nigeria educational sector.
  3. Identify the causes of examination malpractice in Nigerian schools.
  4. Find out whether examination malpractice affects the standard/quality of education in Nigeria.

1.5 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. What is the extent of the prevalence of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors?
  2. What is the effect of certificate racketeering in Nigeria educational sector?
  3. What are the causes of examination malpractice in Nigerian schools?
  4. Does examination malpractice and certificate racketeering affects the standard/quality of education in Nigeria.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

H0: Examination malpractice and certificate racketeering do not affect the standard/quality of education in Nigeria.

Ha: Examination malpractice and certificate racketeering affects the standard/quality of education in Nigeria.


1.6. Significance of the Study

The implementation of the finding and recommendations of this study will not only expose the extent to which students are involved in examination malpractice but will also suggest some remedies or a lasting solutions to this academic dishonesty. This study is also expected to help the Government, administrators, lecturers and guidance counsellors to curb or control cheating behaviour in the educational sector. More so, the research will also assist educational planners in improvising drastic measures to curb the act of exam malpractice. The study will further identify the causes and methods used by students to cheat during examination.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as literature review. This means that, other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is structured to generally investigate examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors. However, the study will further ascertain the prevalence of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors, the effect of certificate racketeering in Nigeria educational sector. the causes of examination malpractice in Nigerian schools and find out whether examination malpractice affects the standard/quality of education in Nigeria. Thus, the respondents for this study will be obtained from Nigeria ministry of education.


1.7. Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sampled population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other institutions.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Examination:

This is an educational assessment intended to measure a test-taker’s knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics.

Students:

A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving easy employment at a particular field.

Examination Malpractice:

This is any misconduct or improper practice in any examination with a view to obtaining good results through fraudulent action.


1.10 Organisations of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the examination of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the examination of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors. The study is was specifically set to ascertain the prevalence of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors, determine the effect of certificate racketeering in Nigeria educational sector, identify the causes of examination malpractice in Nigerian schools, and find out whether examination malpractice affects the standard/quality of education in Nigeria.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 63 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were the staff of ministry of education of Nigeria.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. The prevalence of examination malpractice and certificate racketeering in Nigeria education sectors very high.
  2. Certificate racketeering has a negative effect on Nigeria educational sector.
  3. The causes of examination malpractice in Nigerian schools include; incessant staff strikes that often interrupt the school programme, much emphasis on certificate, unpreparedness of students for examinations, benefits derived by vendors of examination papers, poor teaching practices, poor teaching /learning habits, and injustice in the punishment of culprit/insincerity in tackling the problem.
  4. Examination malpractice and certificate racketeering affects the standard/quality of education in Nigeria.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. Pending the provision of adequate hall and seats for examinations, adequate number of invigilators should be assigned to examination room (the policy of a chief invigilator and at least one invigilator to every 40 students should be adhered to).
  2. All activities relating to examinations such as question paper production, invigilation, marking and result collation as well as computation should be handled with a high sense of responsibility by those concerned.
  3. Concerted efforts should be made to properly acquaint staff and students with regulations governing examination conduct in the schools. Towards this end, workshops and orientation programmes should be carried out periodically to acquaint staff with their duties as examiners and invigilators and students of their expected preparation for, and conduct at examinations.
  4. For the many examination offenders now and the few that would still violate even after self-discipline has been enshrined in the long run, appropriate sanctions should be applied.
  5. Learning facilities such as textbooks, library equipment, laboratories, classroom with enough spaces and setting arrangement should be made available for effective teaching and learning among the teachers and the students.

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