Background to the Study
Corruption has become a powerful influence in the education industry globally, not just in Nigeria. Though it was a late addition to the list of topics covered in corruption studies, corruption in education has become a worldwide hot topic. The dimensions of corruption in environments and societies where it has become a practical, trendy, fashionable, and cherishable value system for people’s survival have been so complex that local, national, and international efforts and actions to check or contain it have consistently failed or contaminated solutions (Lawal and Tobi, 2006). However, a ray of hope appeared when the United Nations, through General Assembly Resolution 58/4 of October 31, 2003, which went into effect on December 14, 2005, initiated actions that, in addition to raising awareness about anti-corruption strategies, also aimed to criminalize corruption in all of its forms. A close examination of the UN’s efforts in this area can point to two directions: raising awareness and sensitizing members of the global community about the existence of corruption and its global condemnation, and establishing a global network of frameworks on which a conscious fight against corruption can be mounted, initiated, or put on the global agenda (Lawal and Tobi, 2006). These are in light of the fact that the unfettered flowering of corruption at any level may be a thorn in the flesh for global community members. This school of thought is based on the belief that corruption transcends national lines and may be used to promote excruciating and degrading anti-social acts such as organized crime, terrorism, drug and people trafficking, and so on.
According to Lawal and Tobi (2006), the amount of corruption in Nigeria “presents a classic instance of a nation in Africa whose growth has been undermined and hindered by the threat of corrupt practices.” The prevalence of corruption in Nigeria has attracted international attention to the point that the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index placed Nigeria as the most corrupt country in the world from 1995 to 1997, and the second most corrupt country in the world from 1999. Tony Blair, a former British Prime Minister, recently described Nigeria as “fanatically corrupt” on one of his state visits to the country, implying that corruption in Nigeria is systemic and deeply established in the mindset of the majority of Nigerians (Lawal and Tobi, 2006).
Because of the enormous spread or prevalence of corruption in Nigeria, there is almost no sector of the Nigerian society that is not corrupt. Whatever the case may be, there are certain areas in which the predominance of corruption may wreak havoc on a state and its people, and one such sector is education. This viewpoint is adopted because educational corruption is very harmful to the Nigerian state’s morale and overall health. The purpose of this article is to illustrate the prevalence of corruption in Nigeria’s education sector at all levels, from basic to secondary to tertiary, with a focus on the ramifications of corruption in the education industry for Nigeria’s national development. In order to do so, we will identify patterns, shapes, and forms of corruption in Nigeria’s education sector, as well as those whose activities encourage and support corruption, and on the one hand, provide suggestions on how to address the issue of corruption in Nigeria’s education business (Lawal and Tobi, 2006).
Academic dishonesty manifests itself in a variety of ways. However, sexual harassment and what is often referred to as “sorting” are the most prevalent. “Sorting” is a term used on campus to describe a scenario in which students are forced to pay instructors in order to get grades they did not receive during exams. It’s so severe that destitute but intelligent students who can’t pay the money asked by instructors are forced to fail classes and occasionally have to repeat them, making graduation impossible for these students (Lawal and Tobi, 2006). Another sort of academic corruption widespread in the country’s so-called Ivory Towers is failing students who do not pay handouts or textbooks produced by lecturers. Some professors even utilize their academic resources as a form of payment, with each student who purchases their materials receiving a set of grades. In the academic setting, this kind of victimization is common. Male professors’ sexual harassment of female pupils is considered typical among instructors. Professors who are old enough to be the dads of female undergraduates toss everything to the dogs in order to get students to go to bed in return for grades. Academic misconduct is common on college campuses, but school officials have turned a blind eye to it. As a result, it’s unusual to read of lecturers being caught in the act or being prosecuted. The story of a University of Lagos professor who reportedly took advantage of an admission-seeking adolescent daughter of a friend by rapping her on campus (the school has since disowned him) is only one of many similar sexual harassment situations on university campuses throughout the nation. Only a few teachers, particularly the elderly, are above board, but the great majority of the younger lecturers partake in the practice. This study is aimed at investigating the causes and effects of corruption on academic activities in Nigeria Universities.
Statement of the Problem
Apart from the fact that a country needs educate its residents to become informed, intelligent, and civilized, education in Nigeria is also a recognised way of achieving possibilities; that would assist the people to remain relevant and preserve resource sustainability for future generations (Ozigi and Ocho, 1981). Reading and writing, whether in science, social sciences, or the arts, are fundamental skills that may help learners become aware of their rights and helpful instruments for national development, especially if historical and religious knowledge is included. Religion allegiance is not obligatory, but those who follow God’s guiding principles will be filled with insight and happy ideas. People with such prospects would investigate and comprehend the issues the country has faced in the past, as well as endeavor to be aware of the society’s current and future demands, using this reservoir of information. According to Ozigi and Ocho (1981), Islam was strongly embedded in the religious beliefs and educational orientation of the people in northern Nigeria, who had an unified Qur’anic education program. In another quoted book, the author claims that in the southern portions of the country, each ethnic group had its own traditional style of schooling based on its own culture and tradition, with comparable goals and purposes. Therefore, education as life investment is utterly not foreign to Nigerian society.
Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to investigate the causes and effects of corruption on academic activities in Nigeria Universities. The specific objective include:
i. To examine the causes of corruption in Nigeria higher institutions.
ii. To find out the effect of corruption on the academic activities in Nigeria higher institutions.
iii. To determine the prevalence of corruption on academic activities in Nigeria higher institutions.
iv. To recommend ways of curbing corruption in Nigerian higher institutions.
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i. What are the causes of corruption in Nigeria higher institutions?
ii. What are the effect of corruption on the academic activities in Nigeria higher institutions?
iii. What is the prevalence of corruption on academic activities in Nigeria higher institutions?
iv. What are the recommend ways of curbing corruption in Nigerian higher institutions?
Significance of the Study
This study is significant to the University management board as it will come to understand what contributes to the indulgent in corrupt practices knowing that discovery can result in heavy penalties including imprisonment and the truncation of their career prospects. This research will provide such understanding by the articulation of students’ ideas and concepts of corruption as well as a fuller map of higher education student corruption; it will also suggest possible directions for the design and implementation of anti corruption policies and mechanisms in the higher education sector.
This study will also be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
Scope of the Study
The study will examine the causes of corruption in Nigeria higher institutions. The study will also find out the effect of corruption on the academic activities in Nigeria higher institutions. The study will further determine the prevalence of corruption on academic activities in Nigeria higher institutions. Lastly, the study will recommend ways of curbing corruption in Nigerian higher institutions. Hence the study will be delimited to Adekunle Ajasin University. Ondo state.
Limitation of the study
The research work faced a lot of challenges but two of the challenges stood out. One of which is the time constraint which limited the areas covered by the researcher. Another one was that the researcher encountered a lot of difficulties in gathering information from the students and the lecturers of these institutions as they were too busy to attend to the researcher especially the lecturers.
Definitions of Terms
Academic activities: Extracurricular (ECA) or Extra Academic Activity (EAA) are those that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school or university education, performed by students.
Corruption: Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.
Higher institutions: Education beyond high school, specifically that provided by colleges and graduate schools, and professional schools.