Background of the Study
Any educational system’s worth and functioning are determined by its capacity to achieve educational objectives. The examination method creates a difference in educational systems all across the globe. If examination ethics is not fostered and implemented, the aims of national educational systems, and indeed national growth, become a phantom (Nwadiani, Imena, 2005). Exams are still the finest instrument for objectively assessing and evaluating what students have accomplished after a time of study. As a consequence, any activity that weakens exams puts the legitimacy and dependability of test results and certification at jeopardy. Unfortunately, the examination procedure in Nigerian secondary schools has devolved into a “current humiliation” (Nwadiani Imena, 2005). This is due to the problem of test malpractice, which has spread across the educational system. Examination malpractice is defined by the Examination Malpractice Act (1999) as any act of omission or commission by a person who, in anticipation of, before, during, or after any examination, fraudulently secures any unfair advantage for himself or any other person in a manner that violates the rules and regulations to the point of undermining the validity, reliability, authenticity, and ultimately the integrity of the certificates issued. In Nigeria, occurrences of examination misconduct have increased at an alarming pace during the previous two decades. Exam misconduct by students, professors, and parents is on the rise, according to evidence (Vanguard, 2005; Weekend Pointer, 2005; Daily Independent, 2004). Exam malpractice has grown so common that there are almost no examinations at all levels and outside of the official educational system, and there is no one kind of sharp practice that is better than the other. Exam malpractice is not a new phenomena, and it is not exclusive to Nigeria or Africa (Awanbor Ejiro, 2005), but the frightening pace of growth is a worldwide concern. All stakeholders in the education system should be concerned about the worrisome rate of growth in examination misconduct in secondary schools in Nigeria. It has been commonly observed that parents and instructors directly or indirectly help and abet test misconduct. Nigerian Tribune, 2009; Vanguard, 2005; Weekend Pointer, 2005; Daily Independent, 2004). Teachers promote test misconduct because they lack the passion to work yet want to be lauded for a job not done, while parents bribe their way through to guarantee that their children get undeserved results (Alutu & Aluede, 2006). According to Omoluabi and Uzoka (quoted in Alutu & Aluede, 2006), Nigeria’s value system has fully collapsed, and both elders and youngsters behave without moral scruples. This is why, despite its terrible ramifications for the nation’s social, political, and economic institutions, examination malpractice continues to persist. According to Shonekan Akeem (1996), the reasons of test misconduct in post-primary institutions emerge from a complex of variables, which include the following:
The importance of formal qualifications is overstated.
The overemphasis on grades and certifications in the country’s educational institutions has created intense rivalry and pressure for academic brilliance in order to continue their study or get employment. The work performance itself is given little or no weight. The immense expectations placed on applicants by their parents and society to achieve high marks and certificates has resulted in a slew of desperate actions aimed at obtaining good grades and certifications at any costs (Shonekan, 1996).
Students’ poor study habits and lack of preparation
For various reasons, a large number of pupils have acquired extremely high social level styles. For some, it’s due to their family’s history. It might be due to peer pressure, according to others. These students spend a significant portion of their study time planning social events instead of studying. Despite these shortcomings, these pupils do not have time to study or prepare for exams. They will want to pass their exams with excellent results despite the fact that they have not studied hard for it; they will choose to cheat in order to do so (Shonekan, 1996).
insufficient amount of infrastructure.
The supply of infrastructural amenities in our schools is one of the most fundamental prerequisites for efficient teaching and learning. When these amenities are available, they serve to increase student and instructor morale, resulting in a more conducive learning environment. In the vast majority of situations, these amenities are woefully insufficient. While classes are in progress, some students feel forced to perch on windows. Due to insufficient classroom space, several schools are forced to run two shifts (Shonekan Akeem, 1996). The scientific schools are little more than a collection of buildings with no science labs or equipment. How can pupils of this quality deal with examinations without resorting to examination malpractice?
Content from the curriculum is not covered.
One of the reasons of examination malpractice in our secondary schools is a lack of covering of syllabus material owing to frequent teacher strikes and inadequate teacher creativity. Most of the time, it’s because instructors aren’t appropriately compensated. This leads to frequent strikes, which have an impact on pupils since the substance of the school curriculum is not adequately addressed when the strike is called off. The time lost is not reimbursed. As a result, a significant amount of work is left undone. Exam malpractice has been a major element in the Emure Local Government Area (Shonekan Akeem, 1996).
Students are afraid.
Fear is a fact that limits most of us worldwide, according to Tsumba Amana (1997). Some applicants lack confidence in what they will write in the test due to a fear of failing as a consequence of inadequate examination preparation or a lack of academic background. The pupils concerned believe that they have not prepared enough and, in order to avoid taking risks, decide to enter the test hall carrying the prohibited materials.
The legal procedure for punishing criminals
The legal procedure of bringing someone to justice is long and arduous. In the past, tribunals have been established to try persons who have been implicated in examination misconduct. Although decrees have been issued to deal harshly with violators, nothing has been done thus far. In most cases, tense investigations lose their hold over time, and criminals are finally released. The fifteen-year sentence is not a possibility (Shonekan Akeem, 1996).
In today’s society, there are few moral standards.
The civilizations from which the pupils derive moral norms seem to be morally bankrupt and corrupt. While teens and adults participate in examination malpractice, they may discover similar malpractices in other areas of society and behaviour, leading to the conclusion that everyone is involved in some kind of crime. Candidates with a poor moral judgment level, according to Idoko (2005), perceive nothing wrong with cheating. The researcher intends to explore and give an appropriate or realistic solution to the issue of examination misconduct in light of these considerations (Shonekan Akeem, 1996).
Statement of the Problem
Exam misconduct seems to be exacerbated by the widespread and despicable participation of dishonest and selfish instructors, school leaders, parents, and others involved in test administration (Ijaiya Aliu, 1998). Stakeholders in the education sector are concerned about the significance this disease has gained in the school system.
Exam misconduct is an unsightly societal infection that has wreaked havoc on our country’s educational institutions. The repercussions of societal vices such as Examination Malpractice have utterly ruined Nigerian society now more than ever before. Our educational system has been beset by regular student outbursts and aggressive tactics to addressing issues that seem to harm not just students but any average Nigerian (Ijaiya Aliu, 1998). This is often viewed by pupils as a stylish and current way of secondary school life. As a result, our secondary schools’ teaming adolescents are targets. As a result, one would expect young people to demand an effective educational system that will liberate the mind and nurture the intellect, as well as to jealously protect such a system. They should also participate in healthy competitions in all fields of human endeavor, which will provide opportunities for hidden talents. As a result, the Nigerian educational system must be protected against vices such as examination malpractice, which may erode public trust in the institution. This issue casts doubt on our attempts to utilize education as a superior instrument for fostering national development.
Exam malpractice is considered as an evil that must be combated and avoided in our educational institutions. What variables influence examination malpractice, and why is it so commonly performed in our secondary schools and by our examination bodies? In light of this, the researchers plan to conduct an analysis on the causes and consequences of examination malpractice among university students.
Purpose of the Study
The general objective of the study is an investigation on the causes and effect of examination malpractices among university students. Specifically, the study intends to:
i. To examine causes of examination malpractice among University students.
ii. To ascertain the effect of examination malpractice on the credibility of University students certificate.
iii. To assess the challenges of lecturers in supervising University students examination .
iv. To investigate ways to curb examination malpractice among University students.
The following questions have been prepared for the study
i. What are the causes of examination malpractice among University students?
ii. What are the effect of examination malpractice on the credibility of University students certificate?
iii. What are the challenges of lecturers in supervising University students examination ?
iv. What are the ways to curb examination malpractice among University students?
Significance of the Study
The findings of this research upon completion will help the reader to understand the factors that influences and propagates examination malpractice. Hence, it will serve as a tool to combating examination malpractice in the following ways:
It is the hope of the researchers that this study will be useful to the school principals in providing a guide to them on how best to conduct examination in their schools.
The study will enable both students and teachers to shun the idea of engaging in examination malpractice in their schools. As it will bring to lime light the ills of examination misconduct.
The study is also intended to acquaint principals, teachers, invigilators, and supervisors on the new techniques involved in Examination Malpractice in schools. So that they will be able to curb the menace.
The study will be a useful guide to the WAEC, JAMB and NECO in selecting competent invigilators and supervisors in the conduct of their examinations.
The study will also be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on examination malpractice.
Scope of the Study
This study will examine causes of examination malpractice among University students. The study will also ascertain the effect of examination malpractice on the credibility of University students certificate. The study will further assess the challenges of lecturers in supervising University students examination. Lastly, the study will investigate ways to curb examination malpractice among University students. Hence this study will be delimited to Ekiti State.
Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
Definition of terms
Examination malpractice: a deliberate wrong doing contrary to official examination rules designed to place a candidate at an unfair advantage or disadvantage.