The Nigerian educational system has suffered from examination malpractices for a long time. Examination malpractices are not only morally wrong but also are an illegal act according to the law. Examination malpractice can ruin the life of the students in many ways. How is this so? What can be done to stop examination malpractice? What are the reasons it keeps increasing in Nigerian educational institutions?
Examination malpractice in Nigeria: Causes and Solutions
What is Examination Malpractice?
Examination malpractice has to do with any form of cheating before, during or even after an examination session. This means that examination malpractice could be done inside or outside the test hall. Malpractice includes plagiarism which is the theft of ideas, words of another person without acknowledgement, thereby claiming it to be yours.; Using notes during the exam, writing answers from a pre-prepared answer sheet, writing answers from another student’s answer sheet, attempting to answer examination questions when the exam time is over. Examination malpractice is considered any action that gives one an unfair advantage over others and that is not in conformity to the societal laws and standards.
Causes of Examination Malpractice
One of the leading causes of examination malpractices in Nigerian educational institutions is the lack of preparation by students.
Other prevalent causes include:
- Unspecialized or incompetent teachers who are unable to teach or explain topics properly
- Lack of time on the part of students either due to the part-time employment
- Other factors affecting the concentration of a student in school such as difficulties at home
- Non-interest of students in school or learning: A student could be interested in things other than schoolwork.
- Inadequate educational facilities: There are not enough educational facilities especially higher institutions in Nigeria, therefore a large population of students fight for the limited space; this makes many students who are not doing well resolve to cheat in order to have a higher advantage.
- Insufficient learning time: It has been seen that in learning institutions here in Nigeria, topics are not taught sufficiently in relation to time. Complex subjects such as Mathematics need an ample of time to be taught properly. Unfortunately, not only are they rushed through when taught but all students are expected to catch up and understand neglecting the fact that each individual is wired differently. The time allocated to all subjects is the same irrespective of their difficulty. Many times, students resolve to cheating in order to get by.
- Anxiety: Some students panic when it is examination time and therefore cheat. They consider cheating the only assurance of success.
- Corruption: This is one of the biggest problems of the Nigerian society; from the government level down to the grassroots and indeed educational institutions. Some teachers allow for bribery in order to for their students to pass, some also demand benefits before they pass their students.
- Pressure from parents
Undoubtedly, parents want the best for their children. This, most times, push them to bribe teachers, supervisors or make them encourage their children or wards to cheat. This they do instead of hiring private tutors for their children.
Effects of Examination malpractice
Examination malpractice has its dangers for the future of students. These include:
Examination malpractices encourage laziness of individuals. Many students who cheated their way through school become unproductive and lazy at their future jobs and engagements.
Examination malpractice encourages a lack of moral values in students. The dignity of hard work is scoffed at. When a student who worked hard to prepare for his or her exams does not pass as much as those who cheated. He/she starts to wonder if his or her hard work was useful at all.
Examination malpractice is a menace that leads to other areas of misconducts and crimes such a robbery. Students who cheat are used to an easier and faster means to success and this will translate into their chase for wealth.
Measures to be taken towards tacking Examination Malpractices in Nigerian Institutions
There are several solutions and measures that can be taken to ensure an attitudinal change and reorientation of teachers, students and parents towards examination malpractices.
- Higher wages for teachers: This would help reduce the corruption perpetrated by teachers when demanding benefits from students
- Properly trained teachers: When the teachers are properly trained, they will be skilled enough to teach and prepare the students for their examinations.
- Guidance and Counsellors: The services of counsellors are needed in schools to help guide the students in the choice of subjects and career path.
- Breaks and holidays should be given to students to allow them to rest and prepare for their academic work so they can be productive. It is advised that the holidays should be more but less in length. This allows for rest and yet discourages the students from becoming too slack and playful before resumption.
- More supervisors and invigilators in examination halls: This would keep the students in check as more people have control over them and would easily notice any form of fraud. Proper searching should also be done. This would scare students bent on cheating and would discourage them.
All these would, in turn, create an attitudinal change and orientation in the minds of Nigerians towards education. Examination malpractice is a menace in the society that not only affects students and teachers but the whole society due to its future dangers on society. A society that allows examination malpractices to thrive will have to deal with adults who are used to always getting what they want and also always searching for quicker and easier means to come to wealth. This is what leads to robbery attacks, corruption, mismanagement of public funds etc. A society filled with unproductive, entitled and immoral adults Etc. It may be difficult to stop students from examination malpractices but it is not impossible for it to be brought to a minimal, while attitudes mindsets might take some time to be corrected, it is better started than ignored altogether, Adequate measures should be taken to prevent the spread of educational malpractices.