Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Causes of Examination Malpractice in Schools

 The causes of examination malpractice can be broadly classified into two – external and internal, that is, institution and society based.
External Factors: These are factors or determinants of examination malpractice which are outside the school environment but which govern, control, dictate and interpret all that happens within the school system. Akpotu (1998) listed them to include:
1.  The Moral Tone of the Society: It is a statement of truth that the school, like any other social institution, does not exist in vacuum, rather it exists within a geopolitical and social milieu. Hence, behaviours are expected to conform and reflect with acceptable societal norms and mores as regards various functional roles and execution of duties and services. Okafor (1990) blamed the society for examination malpractice according to him, in a country where dishonesty has been enshrined by the adult sector as an idol of worship, children have learnt to steal with impunity. However, examination malpractice in all shades and forms has become the order of the day among our students at all levels of the educational arrangement.

2.  The Value System of the Society: Examination malpractice is the product of a society that nurtures cheats and mediocre and turns them into celebrities. It is a reflection of the moral decadence of our society where we have pen robbers, armed robbers, smugglers and drug barons who are gloried by the grace of their ill-gotten wealth (Jibril, 1991).
3.  The Role of Parents and Adult Members of the Society: Parents provide their children and wards with money to buy live examination questions. also, the Nigerian youths so innocently and helplessly watch their parents and the older members of the society and even law enforcement agents as they engage in their various dubious business deals. Thus, the corrupt practices of parents and adult members of the society consciously and unconsciously influence the value judgment of the Nigerian youth. Above all, the cooperation which the youths received from the adult members of the society and of the school in perpetuating examination malpractice further encourage and teach the innocent youth that society so cherish uphold the great evil – examination malpractice (Akpotu, 1998). According to him, another role which parents play in the perpetuation of examination malpractice is their inflected expectation from their children. Most parents often dictate the course or discipline they want their children to pursue. Such parents desire to achieve their unattained dreams in their children without due consideration of the child’s intellectual ability. In the circumstance, different illegal means will be adopted to make the child what he cannot be.
4.  The Role of Government Agencies: Government agencies in charge of education and examinations like the Ministry of Education, WAEC officials, supervisors and invigilators as well as the law enforcement agents contribute in different ways to examination malpractice. These agencies and bodies, either by omission or commission connive, aid and abet while at the same time pretend to be against examination malpractice.
Internal Factors: The level of knowledge and skill acquisition of students determines their involvement in examination malpractice. Majority of Nigerian students no longer see knowledge and skill acquisition as necessary anymore (Akpotu, 1998). Anyaegbunam (1979) contended that many students do not know much about the subject matter concerned in the course before entering the examination hall. He further remarked that some are too lazy even to read the question paper carefully and understand the questions asked. Dale (1979) claimed that most often than not students embark on their serious study belatedly. As a result, they soon come to realize that they are unable to revise the volume of work thoroughly before the d-day. In other to pass an examination for which they are so ill-prepared they adopt methods that will enable them to cheat in examinations.
        Empirical studies have identified that basic factors responsible for student’s involvement in examination malpractices. Ugwuegbu (1974) observed that students indulge in examination malpractice to avoid failure and to consolidate their excellence in performance. On the other hand, Aliyu (1997) emphasized that students involve themselves in examination malpractice because of anxiety over non-completion of the syllabus and opportunity of cheating in the traditional one-shot examination system. Mohammed and Gyallesu (1995) find that students cheat in examination because of fear of failure, low entry qualification, carelessness on the part of the invigilators and lack of guidance and counseling services. Shonekan (1996) remarked that cheating emanates from inadequate coverage of the teaching and learning process, poor interpretation of examination results by end users as a result of intensive competition for the few vacancies, moral decadence in the society resulting in a poor value system.

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