Nigeria: Why exam malpractice is on the rise

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Examination malpractice in Nigeria today has  become very rampant among secondary and university students, and even the so called mission and private institutions, have numerous tales of students who engage in the act. To the country, examination malpractice spells doom for the education sector as it is an illegal act committed by students, either single handedly or in collaboration with other students, parents, teachers, supervisors, examiners or anyone, before, during or after an examination, in order to obtain undeserved marks or grades. Many factors contribute to this menace. According to the Head of Department, Music, The Polytechnic Ibadan, Mrs Kehinde Faniyi, examination malpractice “is usually done by unserious students who do not come for lectures and even when they come, they do not concentrate. “From my experience as a HOD and a lecturer, I have observed this menace. You don’t have to think about the effects; they are there to see. Once they are caught, they would face the disciplinary committee for appropriate actions. The outcome of the disciplinary committee is either expulsion or being suspended.”

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She further admonished students to go for lectures, write necessary tests and desist from engaging in examination malpractices.
According to Mr Rotimi Olaosebikan, a lecturer in the same department, he said, “examination malpractice is a common phenomenon that affects all that has to do with the learning process. “It has become a menace plaguing the Nigerian education system. “Some students, when they don’t  prepare enough for examinations, always look for other means to pass,” he explained.

While suggesting solution to the situation, he said “teachers or lecturers should endeavour to teach their courses very well in order to give confidence to their students during examination.

“The relevant government authority should also provide adequate teaching aides for the teachers to teach well.”

Mr Wole Fadipe, another lecturer, said “examination malpractices have become a norm among students.

“Students nowadays do not want to read. They want to pass by all means which should not be.”

He also advised students to desist from examination malpractices since they would not be able to defend the results in the nearest future.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, Adeleke Akinniyi, a student, noted that “the effects of examination malpractices in the academic sector could not be overemphasised.

“Students in various institutions resort to examination malpractice for a number of reasons. The fear of suffering humiliation from colleagues if they fail; parental discipline received if they fail; inability to read due to engagement in too many social activities; the tutors’ ideologies about failure and the lackadaisical attitude of tutors and the desire of students to pass by all means are some of the reasons students engage in examination malpractice.

“Also, examiners, supervisors and teachers appointed to conduct examinations compromise their integrity by corruptly enriching themselves while aiding and encouraging examination fraud. The apportioning of blame should not only be meted out to parents and their wards, the school and their teachers, but also to the examination agencies that  are not ignorant of the sitting capacity or the sitting arrangement between one seat and the other during examination.”

Kayode Obilade, also a student, affirmed that examination malpractice has become a routine to the extent that students were not encouraged to prepare for examinations.

For Fadowo Omotola, a polytechnic student, “many students cheat during examinations by bringing  their phones, textbooks and other illegal materials into the hall.”

In the teaching aspect, teachers are few and most times, incompetent. Many teachers do not cover the syllabus before the session is concluded. The school period is shortened by holidays, shift system and late resumption by students, giving way to inadequate preparation of students for examination.

Parents also contribute to this illegal act, as some parents are illiterate and therefore ignorant of their children’s studies. They usually don’t have time for their children at home, and are often busy at their workplace.

The government on its part also needs to provide suitable learning environment for students and employ adequately trained teachers.

The effects of examination malpractice, however, cannot be overemphasised. Creativity and resourcefulness are hampered; it wreaks great havoc on the social, religious, economic and political lives of Nigerians. Employees are engaged in jobs they are not suited for since the certificates they claim to possess are not merited. It thereby decreases job efficiency.

It also discourages good students from studying hard because they are tempted to join others in the act, especially when they see culprits getting away with it.

It also denies innocent students the opportunities for admission. Many good students have been  denied admission by these corrupt ones, who through this unacceptable act have better scores and grades.

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