Investigation Of The Widespread And Management Of Examination Malpractices In Nigeria

Educational Management Project and Seminar Material

Investigation Of The Widespread And Management Of Examination Malpractices In Nigeria


Abstract


This research work investigated the cases, widespread and management of examination malpractices in Idemili north Local Government Area, Anambra State.

Ten out of the 17 schools in the Local Government Area were sampled, using stratified random sampling technique. Questionnaire was used as research instrument to elicit the data needed for the research. The research questionnaire was tagged “Examination Malpractices Assessment Questionnaire” (EMAQ). EMAQ was validated and tested for reliability. Thereliability coefficient was 75.5%.

The data obtained were analyzed, using frequency counts, mean and percentage to determine the widespread, causes and management of examination malpractices in the sampled schools.

The results indicated that inadequate preparation for examination, fear of failure, incompetence of some teachers, lack of continuous assessment, poor sitting arrangement in examination were considered by the respondents as the causes of examination malpractices. The identified solutions ranged from provision of guidance and counseling services, tighter security over all examination matters, schools should give proper orientation to students about reading skill and use of library and well diversified school curriculum. Based on the findings, it was recommended that students should be given enlightenment programme that will highlight the consequences of examination malpractices. Also guidance counselors should be employed and posted to secondary schools to help students in self understanding and self management as well as the development of effective study habits in relation to how they can utilize their assets and manage their abilities for optimal development without engaging in examination malpractice.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Examination is an important aspect of the education process. The main objective of education is to equip students with requisite knowledge, skills and desirable attitude to enable them contribute effectively to national development efforts. Education demands periodic assessment and evaluation which are usually in form of examinations. The aim of examination among other thing is to ascertain the level of knowledge and competence of students. Examination therefore is the stage at which learners’ knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies are assessed, and judgment made about their performances. The outcome of such judgment usually varies according to institutional demands and needs. However, placement of students is one of the commonly outcomes of such judgment or evaluation.

Being a universal issue, examination over the years has attracted a lot of definitions from different scholars at various times and circumstances. For instance, Edo (2002) defined examination as the assessment of a person’s performance when confronted with a series of questions, problems, or task, in order to ascertain the amount of knowledge that he or she has acquired, the extent to which he or she is able to utilize it, or the quality and effectiveness of the skills developed. Ongom (1994:23) states that examinations are “Oral or written tests administered on learners to determine the amount and quality of learning over a period of time”. Similarly, Umar (2003) also defines examination primarily as a test of capacity of an individual.

In Nigeria, examination malpractice is as old as the country itself. This assertion is buttressed by the reports of Ogedegbe (2007), which show that examination malpractice was first recorded in Nigeria in 1914, when there was a leakage of question papers in senior Cambridge Local Examination. Since that year 1914, examination malpractice has been an intractable societal menace and has shown its ugly face in different magnitudes; and those who engage in it employ different strategies in order to have their ways. To confirm this, Maduemezie (1998) observed that examination malpractice previously existed at low rate with simplistic method, but it became more pervasive from 1970 with the involvement of person other than the candidates. In the same vein, Ivowi (1996) stated that the first major occurrence of examination malpractice in Nigeria was in 1977 examination as a result of mass leakage of question papers in the West African school certificate examination.

Omoegun (2002) also reported that examination malpractice may even include creation of ghost centers where candidates can sit for examination with the support of syndicates, racketeers or compromised supervisor. It also includes a deliberate award of certificates to candidates who did not sit for examinations. Examination malpractices technically weaken the validity and reliability of examination and the corresponding examination results.
Examination Malpractice has posed a great threat to the survival and sustainability of good quality education. This has facilitated the enthronement of mediocre, half-baked, incompetent and corrupt work force ranging from quack doctors, lab technicians, lawyers, pharmacists and many others, and has led to massive fraud in banks, the collapse of buildings and the miscarriage of justice. Its effect is a gradual loss of confidence in the products of the system and gradual de-recognition of certificates issued by Nigerian schools.

In spite of stiff penalties prescribed in the Examination Malpractice Decree 20 of 1984, examination malpractice is growing with leaps and bounds at all levels of the Nigeria educational system. Students, teachers, school administrators, parents, guardians, examination invigilators and supervisors, custodians of examination materials, officials of examination bodies, government officials and law enforcement agents are involved. Hence, Decree 20 was amended copiously by “examination Malpractice Decree 33 of 1999”, which list twelve various offences as examination malpractices.

Bello (2003) lamented on how teachers, friends, parents, and hired mercenaries collude to aid students to pass examination by hook or crook. It is completely indefensible to find some school principals, teachers, examination officials, invigilators, law enforcement agents, supervisors, parents, communities deeply involved in aiding and abetting examination malpractices. There is, then need to investigated the cases, widespread and management of examination malpractices in Idemili north Local Government Area, Anambra State.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Examination malpractice has become a common feature in the contemporary Nigerian school system. There are examination leakages, irregularities and cheating during secondary schools external examinations.

Various attempts have been made to reduce the incidence of malpractice, yet the problem still persists even at a more alarming rate. In spite of the stiff penalties for Examination malpractice contained in the Miscellaneous Offences Decree 20, of 1984, (that is 21 years jail term for anyone found guilty of any examination malpractices), some students in Nigerian secondary schools, continue to engage in examination malpractice during examinations.

The threat of examination malpractice to the validity of examination has made some examination bodies to give due and deserving attention to stamping out examination malpractices especially at the test development and administration stages. As a way of combating examination malpractices, continuous assessment (CA) was introduced in Nigeria, but the examination malpractice appears to continue unabated. There is the need to evolve a permanent solution to this cankerworm. To be able to combat examination malpractice, there is need to empirically investigate its nature and scope, its severity and pervasiveness.

Therefore the problem of this study posed as a question is: What are the levels of involvement of some stakeholders and the Management of examination malpractices in Nigeria?


1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to determine the levels of involvement of stakeholders and the management of exam malpractices in Anambra State secondary schools.

The study is specifically designed to:-

  1. To determine the levels of involvement of parents in examination malpractice.
  2. Find out the extent are school managements involved in the examination malpractices.
  3. Identify the levels of involvement of secondary school students in Examination malpractice
  4. In which forms of examination malpractices and how does examination bodies manage examination malpractice.

1.4 Research Questions

Research Question 1:

What are the levels of involvement of parents in examination malpractice?

Research Question 2:

To what extent are school managements involved in the examination malpractices?

Research Question 3:

What are the levels of involvement of secondary school students in Examination malpractice?

Research Question 4

In which forms of examination malpractices and how does examination bodies manage examination malpractice?


1.5 Significance of the Study

The result of this study will be of immense significance to the following stakeholders namely:

The study would provide literature on teacher’s involvement in examination malpractice and how it is managed in secondary school in Anambra State.

It will make the Government to provide adequate number of qualified teachers for schools to pave way for students to seek every avenue of making it. It will also encourage the government to neither implement nor enforce the Examination malpractice Act.33 0f 1999.

This study would serve as an eye opener to the students on the need to prepare diligently for an examination and save themselves and their families the agony, heartbreak, shame and embarrassment that would follow cancellation of results, imprisonment, and the need to re-enter the hall for the same examination. It will also make the students to be disciplined and not allowing their peer groups to lure them into cheating in examinations.

This study is deemed significant to the parents and guardians who want their wards to succeed in examination at all costs by aiding their wards in their design to cheat. They will realize that the act will make their children not to be serious with their study, which will affect the socio-economic development of the nation in future and the resources spent on their children will be a waste since there will be no transfer of learning which will lead to general transformation of the life style of their family and the nation in general.

It will help in planning strategies for curbing examination malpractice. Those who make monetary gain from examination malpractice would be given alternatives.

It is hoped that the result of the study will reveal the levels of involvement of some educational stakeholders in examination malpractice in secondary schools in Anambra State. This will help in revealing the problems encountered by the society due to malpractice with the view of curtailing it.


1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This research work will be limited to secondary schools involved in external examination in Anambra State. It will also be limited to levels of involvement of some educational stakeholders such as teachers, parents, principals, staff of examining bodies, student.

A number of limiting factors may have hindered the validity of this study.

  1. The researcher was so handicapped in reaching some of the areas especially Idemili, because of the fact that it is a river line area.
  2. Attitude exhibited by some of the stakeholders in response to the items in the instrument was not friendly, as some complained that it was going to expose them.
  3. The researcher founds it very difficult to convince some of the parents that were not working class to respond to the items.

1.7 Definition of Terms Computer

Examination:

A formal test that you take to show your knowledge or ability in a particular subject or to obtain a qualification.

Examination Malpractices:

This is any deliberate act of wrong doing, contrary to the rules of examinations designed to give a candidate an unfair advantage or able frequency.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Discussion of Results, Conclusion, Recommendations and Summary

In this chapter, the discussion of the findings, conclusion, recommendation and summary of the study are presented.


5.1 Summary

Examination malpractice has now become the normal thing in our educational systems and more people are getting themselves involved in it everyday. For this, there should be need to find out the levels of involvement of some educational stakeholders in it which will help us in curtailing it. The study was specifically designed to determine the level of involvement of parents, teachers, students, principals and staff of examination bodies in examination malpractices. Five research questions were developed to guide the study as follows; what are levels of involvement of parents, teachers, students, principals, and staff of examination bodies’ involvement in examination malpractices. Also three hypotheses were developed to test the significance between male and female students, supervisors and invigilators involvement in examination malpractices, teachers in urban and rural locations in their involvement in examination malpractices at .05 level of significance.

The findings indicate that Examination bodies aid and abet examination malpractices by leaking the question paper, collecting money from principals to approve schools with limited facilities, not giving enough time for the examination, hiking of examination fees which induce the students to cheat in order not to sit for the same examination. However, the results indicated that there is no significant difference that existed between the mean ratings of males and females, urban and rural teachers, and invigilators and supervisors’ involvement in Examination Malpractices. It is recommended that efforts should be made by teachers and school principals to raise the learning abilities of the learner by encouraging them to read harder and disinvolve themselves in examination malpractice since it makes them not to develop their ability and that potential that is embodied in them. Salary increase is required to sustain teachers’ interest in teaching and makes them not to be involved in examination malpractice because of money they will gain on it. This can be achieved by creating some allowances such as examination allowance. There should be strict implementations of the penalty leveled against any student caught during examination involving in Examination Malpractices. Parents should encourage their children to disengage in examination malpractice by organizing extra moral lesson after normal school hours, provision of enough learning materials, adopting the principal of constructivism. Teachers ought to go and update their learning by attending seminars, conferences, in-service course among others.

Finally, there was the discussion of results and implications of the findings were also discussed. There were some limitations to the study and some suggestions for further studies were made.


5.2 Conclusion

On the basis of the findings of this study, the following conclusions are drawn. Examination malpractice is now a social evil that has eaten deep into the fabrics of our educational industry. The levels of involvement of all the stakeholders are at the alarming stage. The result obtained testifies that alots of inputs were made by parents, teachers, principals, students, and staff of examination bodies. Generally, the students offer material gifts, money, hire mercenaries, use G.S.M, register at ‘miracle’ centers, leak question papers. These in collaboration with the teachers, parents, invigilators, supervisors and some other syndicates to get the unwarranted good results. This indicates that stakeholders’ involvements in examination malpractice are very high.

The gender and location had no significant influence on the students’ involvements in examination malpractices.


5.3 Implications of the Findings

The results of this study have implications for students, teachers, societies, parents and the country at large.

  1. Where there is an Examination Malpractice the objective of the school which is transfer of learning to the society will not be achieved.
  2. The country will not develop scientifically and technologically which will lead to breeding of mediocre in the society.
  3. The economic and political growth of the society will be affected negatively and the student reading habits will not be developed which will lead to the students not developing their potentials. The students’ interests to education will be killed off.
  4. The teachers will not work heard since they know that after everything student must be involved in Examination malpractice.
  5. Parents will not like to spend their money on education again since there is no positive impact of it on their children.
  6. The government will continue to waste fund on education without seeing the impact on their students and society.
  7. The teachers will not work heard, the teachers will not devote more time to what they are teaching, since they now that there is an easy cut to the student success.
  8. The objectives of the examination bodies for organizing the examination will not be achieved.

Recommendations

The following recommendations were made from the implications of the findings of the results.

  1. Efforts should be made by teachers and school principals to raise the learning abilities of the learner by encouraging them to read harder and not to involve themselves in examination malpractice since it makes them not to develop their abilities and that potentials that are embodied in them.
  2. Salary increase is required to sustain teachers’ interest in teaching and make them not to be involved in examination malpractice because of money they will gain on it. This can be achieved by creating some allowances such as examination allowance e.t.c for the teachers and principals, thus creating the take home pay for the teachers after examination.
  3. There should be strict implementations of the penalty leveled against any culprits of examination malpractices caught during examinations.
  4. Parents should encourage their children to disengage in examination malpractice by organizing extra moral lessons after normal school hours, provision of enough learning materials, disallowing them from attending unnecessary parties, adopting the principles of constructivism to teaching and learning, and forcing them to read harder in social manner, by providing them with most of their human needs. These children will obviously develop reading culture and thus build up independently and they will have self-confidents and will approach their academic works on their own. This in facts scares them away from any examination irregularities willingly.
  5. Teachers should update their knowledge by attending seminars, conferences, in-service course, carrying out research so as to be richer in intellectual faculty thus impacting meaningful knowledge to their studies. The teachers need to explain to their students the negative effects of misleading themselves in irregularities in the examination malpractices.
  6. Learning facilities such as textbooks, library equipments, laboratories, classroom with enough spaces and setting arrangement should be made available for effective teaching and learning among the teachers and the students.
  7. The government should provide dedicated and motivated teachers to schools, the government should motivate their teachers by paying them regularly and allowing them to undertake in in-service training so as to update their knowledge. They should make sure that principals and vice principals should be held responsible for any lapses of examination frauds.

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