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1 August 2013

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Practical Steps to Eradicate Examination Malpractice

Photo Credit: Tosindeda

The main objective of our education is to equip students with relevant knowledge and skills to enable them contribute effectively to national development. This training demands periodic assessment and evaluation in the form of test and examination in order to determine the level of knowledge and competence of students.

However, over dependents on certificates as a perquisite for employment have led to a crazy rush by most people to acquire these certificates fraudulently, leading to examination malpractice. Examination halls and their vicinities have become the arena for gross misconduct in many institutions of learning.

What then is examination malpractice?
In my own view, I see examination malpractice as a cankerworm that is sucking our precious educational system. I can define it as a situation where students cut corners to pass examination.

The occurrence of examination malpractice is at an alarming rate. These amazing cheating techniques are usually put in place before, during or after examination by candidates ably aided by their accomplices. These ugly trend advances from simple ‘giraffing’ to a more sophisticated methods such as ‘expo’,  micro chips, brain support to mention but a few and they emanate whenever and wherever examination takes place.

Examination malpractices have made the conduct of examination more difficult and make it difficult to determine the knowledge of students which the main purpose of the organised test. Examination malpractice hinders academic development and growth of the individual and the society.

Psychological Effects of Exams Malpractice
This ugly trend has a serious detrimental effect on the psychological state of our present day learners.  Most students now engage in all forms of activities just to pass an examination. Many students believe that they can’t just do it on their own. They lack self confidence. Students feel that there is no need working hard as their efforts in school are somehow not rewarded equitably by their evaluators for one reason or the other.

Causes of Examination malpractices
Laziness: most students don’t prepare well for their examination. They do not attend classes either or do their homework. They wait until the examination time table is out before they start reading for the exams.
Fear: most students fear a lot. Some even fear the result more than the exams itself. This has made some of them to lack self esteems and motivation to tackle the exam questions.
Parental influence: Most parents and guardians directly or indirectly encourage their wards to involve in examination malpractices. They involve indirectly by influencing their children’s choice of course as against their capability. For instance, just because he or his friend is a medical doctor, he will want to do everything possible for his son to become a doctor, meanwhile the child might do better in engineering. Others directly go with their wards to the examination centres like JAMB to help them in various ways in securing high grade. They do a lot more you can imagine
Lecturers/Teachers: Some lecturers frustrate students so much as a result of one reason or the other or as a result of outright wickedness. Some teachers don’t impart much knowledge to the students since some of them might have had their qualifications through various malpractices. So, the system becomes saturated with hoodlums, thus, making the issue a more complex one to tackle. Teachers do not even create time to teach in classrooms as they go about their own businesses instead of doing what he/she was paid to do.

Who has been responsible for this occurrence?
Of course, you will agree with me that the cause of this problem has its root to humans. No doubt, involvement in these vices cuts across a large section of the society – young, old, rich, poor, lamest and funny enough, lamest are got entangled in this matter. I want to categorize them in three folds; (1) the students, (2) the parents and (3) the teachers as well as school administrators. Examination malpractice cuts across all tiers and stages of education.

The major reason why it thrives in our locality can be attributed to the deplorable valuesystems where one finds that cheating, embezzlement of public funds and properties do not attract condemnation and punishment they deserve.

The effort of government, though commendable, the nonchalant society of Nigeria and indeed direct support and influence of both parents and guardians have not solved matters.

How then can examination malpractice be eradicated?  
Parents, society and the government need to assume and perform their roles properly. The students themselves are not left out. Making hare while the sun shines may just be a right path and perhaps proper moral offering or seminar and less dependent on certificate for employment may be the necessary follow up. We should try and learn the value of truthfulness in our society. 

Efforts to build the students’ self confidence should be promoted and encouraged. You the students, believe you can do it on your own. The time you spent trying to write or produce the micro chip that you are planning to smuggle into the exam hall is a huge time you should use to revise your work and understand better. Use that time to discuss with your classmate. Use that time to do some form of tutorial. The knowledge you gain from this will be establish in your brain and you will be able to pass your examination no mater how tough it is.

Please note that passing exams does not stop in getting the certificate. You will be required to demonstrate what you learned in your workplace when you are employed.

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