Wednesday, 12 June 2013

ANALYSIS OF ACADEMIC DISHONESTY IN HIGHER INSTITUTIONS IN BENIN

Chapter One

Introduction

Background of the Study

        Students are generally recognized as essential inputs in any educational endeavor and they form the parameter on which the assessment of the achievement or not of the goals of education revolves. School management therefore attempts through the teaching and learning process to direct their activities to conform to the outlined philosophy of education in Nigeria. Basically, much importance and attention is ascribed by educational managers to the intellectual and moral development of students.
        



 Recent research on students’ achievements in the main focused on factors that influenced performance. The discussion essentially centers on the relative ability of the student to achieve
high level grades and not necessarily on how the student achieved such grades. The researchers, no doubt operated on the premise that students who achieve better grades were deemed more intelligent, hardworking and acquired better study habits (Koko, 1993 and Festus, 1997). The assumption was that once a student acquires basic cognitive and affective characteristics, excellent achievement was assured.
        Pathetically, in the Nigerian educational system the degrees and diplomas are awarded to the students on the basis of character and learning. Yet, recent development indicate that while it may seem easy to assess students’ performance through tests, to establish the level of acceptable conduct while undergoing the examination is a herculean task.
        A 1975 – 76 Carnegie survey reports that eighty-two percent of college and university faculty believe that firm moral values are important in education. Yet, evidence abound pointing to the fact that students now resort to diverse dishonest and unacceptable behaviours in an effort to obtain high grades in school. Ayua in Okonkwo (1996) observed that students’ misconduct has totally compromised the integrity of both the admission and examination process and that the moral discipline that education should impart is not acquired.
        Afolabi (1992) opined that one of the factors of indiscipline in schools today is dishonesty. Asonibare and Mordi (1990) identified cheating, by spying on other students work or bringing copied answer scripts to examination hall as one of the indices of indiscipline. Similarly, Usen (1991), Asonibare and Mordi (1990) and Ekezi (1996), all in their different works agreed that the most dangerous fraudulent and corrupt practices in Nigerian schools is students’ involvement in examination malpractice. To further support these observations and findings, a 1979 Carnegie Report “Fair Practices in Higher Education” stated that 8.8 percent of undergraduates report that some forms of cheating are necessary to get the grades they want. And larger proportions of students admit to spontaneous forms of cheating on an examination. Pathetically, the outlined acts or characteristics are, no doubt, dishonest behaviours and indicate a general decline in integrity of ethical conduct on campuses. 
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