Higher Learning And The Trend Of Examination Malpractice (Badmus Sheriff Oluwakunmi)

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Source: hillcityuniversity.org

Examination Malpractice is a concept as old as examination. For every problem lies a solution, examination is the problem and cheating is the solution sought by bodies that engage in misconducts. Examination is a tool for verifying the effectiveness of learning. If compromised, students would run around holding qualifications they never worked for. Various eggheads have attempted to define Examination Malpractice from different perspectives. According to Shonekan(2010), he defined examination malpractice as any act of omission or commission that contravenes the rules and regulations of the examination body to the extent of undermining the validity and reliability of the tests and ultimately, the integrity of the certificates issued. Nigeria today is in the abyss of numerous problems- one of which is examination malpractice.

Forging of certificates to gain admission and employment is becoming an unchecked habit. Years back, a Speaker of the House of Representatives, Salisu Buhari made false claims on bagging a Degree from University of Toronto. It came as a huge shock when a serving senator, Dino Melaye, included Harvard University and London School of Economics and Political Science in his resume, knowing schools with such pedigree won’t waste time to confirm his contorted lies. Also, the case of Nse Ekpenyong, a member of the House of Representatitive who was found guilty of forging a national ordinary diploma certificate of the Abia state Polytechnic represents one of the many stories of certificate forgery. Though the Federal Government stipulated a 21-year-jail term for anyone found guilty of examination malpractice, the act still remains a norm. In 2006, the Federal Ministry of Education blacklisted and de-recognized 324 secondary schools as centres for conducting public examinations from 2007 to 2010.

Examination misconduct or malpractice is a problem witnessed in nearly all parts of the world. The Algerian government proscribed internet connections on Wednesday, 20th June 2018 in a move to curb exam malpractice that is becoming rampant during the country’s High school Final Diploma exams. Proscribing internet connections during examinations is not a new policy to the Algerian government; it started in 2016 with a mass leakage of exam papers. In a similar case, Ethiopia shut down internet access for a whole week during the country’s national exam. In a document released by University of Ibadan Central Student Disciplinary Committee (CSDC), Nigeria on 31th may 2018, 53% of all allegations launched were related to examination misconducts. The latest figures (ofqual data), which cover GCSEs, AS-levels and A-levels taken in England last summer, show that 2,715 penalties were issued to students, up from 2,180 the year before, while 895 were given to staff, up from 360 in 2016. In addition, 120 penalties were issued to schools and colleges, down from 155 the year before. Prior to Joint Admission Matriculation Board exams held in 2018, JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede disclosed, ''we currently have in our custody some people who break into our Virtual Private Network. They are creating very-small-aperture terminal in Osogbo and Ilesha, Osun State, and broadcasting across the country…we would cooperate with the EFCC in fighting corruption in the form of examination malpractices.'' Despite these efforts, JAMB withheld 111,981 2018 UTME results for further screening (The exam body recently announced the release of the final batch of the 2018 UTME result).

According to the Journals consulted, forms of malpractices range from Impersonation, Collusion, Examination Leakages, Mass Cheating, Dubbing, Insult/Assault on Supervisors/Invigilators/Inspectors by candidates, Bringing Foreign Materials into the Examination Hall, Procurement of Answer Booklets, Enrolling Syndicate and Self, Late Submissions of Parcels by the Supervisor. Factors to be blamed for malpractices include poor studying habits, poverty, poor examination conditions, inadequate teachers and poor teaching facilities, the staunch desire of some parents to ensure their wards make the cut, placing too much emphasis on paper qualifications for job recruitment, poor values and peer influence.

According to Obasi(2009), Examination malpractice has adverse effects on all facets of society, the individual, the home, the school, the government, the private organization and the international community. The products of examinations malpractice are square pegs in round holes. They lack the required knowledge and experience to carry out their assignment and professional duties effectively. Examinations malpractice may lure some students into other areas of misconducts such as prostitutions and or armed robbery, female students who lack money to sort or pay for scores may take prostitution while male may as well take stealing or armed robbery in a bid to make money to pay for scores (Uzochukwu, 2015). It is a negative orientation for future leaders who may end up being fraudulent and corrupt in their various offices.

The solution to Examination misconducts lies in promoting proper values. Students should be taught the virtues of hard work and honesty. Sound educational policy should be put in place with de-emphasis on the supremacy of certificates over skills and professional competence. Appointment of supervisors of examination centres should be based on proven integrity. Websites promoting examination malpractice should be diligently tracked and put to sword. Seminars and conferences should be organized for parents and guardians on the consequences of malpractices and its legal punishments. Lastly, laws will be useful only if enacted; law enforcing agencies should consider convicting people who may be found guilty.

Remember and tell a friend, examination malpractice kills innovation, it kills confidence, it reels out competence, and it’s a disease damn deadly!

 About The Writer

Name: Badmus Sheriff Oluwakunmi
Email: [email protected]
Phone no: 08103307987

Bio: Sheriff is a Graduate of University of Ibadan and an erstwhile Campus Journalist. He subscribes more to worldviews and arguments that are moulded out of facts rather than assumptions.


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