THE IMPACTS OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES (A STUDY OF EBONYI STATE UNIVERSITY)
Malpractice is as old as mankind. It involves the use of callous and deceitful ways to gain unfair advantages over information. It is natural of man to engage in various activities and tend to manipulate and maneuver those actions, which he felt that it is beyond his limits. This he does with the use of illegal ways.
Examination malpractice is any act of comer cutting, misdeed, misconduct or cheating in any examination by a candidate in a manner that undermines the integrity framework, rules and regulation or purpose of the examination. It is an act of omission or commission on the parts of a candidate or his/her accomplice, with the intention of gaining undue and unfair advantage over other candidate in an examination. This explains why Alschuler and Blimking (1995-123) sees it as the “Academic equivalent of urban crimes”.
Oakton Community College (1997:21), sees examination malpractice as copying or attempt to copy from another students work, using or attempting to use an unauthorized information, notes as well as study aids.
Examination malpractice according to world bank article (2004) see malpractice as a breach of the rules governing the free and fair conduct of an examination, either directly by a candidate or indirectly by hired accomplice, with the aim of securing underserved advantages in an examination. Examination malpractice is not a spontaneous act, but there are some factors which are considered to be the causes. Some of these factor are; late arrival of question papers in some examination venue, large number of candidates and arrangement of seats in an examination halls, inadequate supervisors, logistical inadequacies, the use of multiple halls, corrupt and dull supervisors, inadequate policing, high stakes placed on the possession of certificates, inadequate facilities in schools, negative social orientation, alienation, peer influence, poverty in the society, lack of political will to enforce the examination malpractice laws of appointment into the Boards of examination bodies, etc. However, there are equally numerous types of examination malpractice, which the candidate indulges in any of the types that is favourable to him/her. These include missiles, mercenary or machine, Ecowas, grafting, dubbing, expo, sorting, yarning, pam, discharge, impersonation, collusion, plagiarism, memory back-up, super-printing and copying.
1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY THE ORIGIN OF EXAMINATION AND EXAM MALPRACTICE
Examination malpractices emerge in Nigeria during the colonial era, when the administration of public examination was in the hands of the colonialists, little cases of examination malpractice was recorded then.
The first publicly recorded cases of examination malpractice in Nigeria was in 1914 involving the leakages of question papers of Cambridge school certificate (Omotosho 1990, Adeyegba 1994, Usman 1997, Aina 1997 and Egwuatu 1998).
Colonialism in its bid to exploit the Nigerians, initiated and invoked the spirit of ethnic group and tribalism, while creating extreme competition amongst the various groups created for their (Colonial) administrative convenience. Excessive materialism and competition among the various ethnic groups for the management and control of scarce natural resources, coupled with the desire by the different ethnic groups to take over from the departing colonial masters, key administrative positions, initiated many immoral and corrupt practices amongst Nigeria. By this singular gesture, the sleeping spirit of examination malpractice was awakened since it was means used by many Nigerians to climb to the top of the post-colonial administrative system.
The civil war in Nigeria (1967-1970) was another factor that created a fertile ground for the germination of examination malpractice. The civil war totally eradicated the framework of unity, honesty and handwork, foundation upon which Nigerian society was built. In its place, distrust, dishonesty, tribal group, poverty and extreme hopelessness to the center stage and upon these vices like armed robbers, corruption and examination malpractice germinated. Another type of examination malpractice in Nigeria took place in 1977 and was tagged EXPO 77” where expo stands for exposition”.
- STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Examination malpractice has done a great harm on the Nigeria system of education. It has reduced the integrity of examination and has contributed immensely to the rate of unemployment in the society. It has equally contributed to the production of fake products in the country such as fake drugs, fake and adulterated nutrition etc. Examination malpractice is a destructive in nature. For example, the collapsed buildings being witnessed in the past and present has its roots from the ugly phenomenon. So the problems associated with examination malpractice are fareaching, blowing like a whirlwind to all sector of our national life. However, it is incontrovertible to note that the majority of students that were suspended from the university (EBSU) was as a result of their indulgence in different forms of examination malpractice. The problem is that examination malpractice seems to place those that are not serious at advantage while the serious and the intelligent ones are disfavoured.
- research questions
- Does examination malpractice place the mediocre at the apogee of academic pursuit while the hard working students are placed at low (disfavoured)?
- Does Examination malpractice reduces the integrity and values of Examination in Ebonyi State University (EBSU)?
- Does Examination malpractice lead to the cancellation of students results?
- Does Examination malpractice lead to inefficiencies in various places of work?
- Is examination malpractice the major cause of social vices and ills in the country?
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The study aims at the following objective which include:
- To identify the causes of examination malpractice in EBSU.
- To identify the effects of examination malpractice on student in EBSU.
- To enumerate the devastating effects of examination malpractice on educational sector and on the society at large.
- To discuss the possible solution to the effects of examination malpractice in EBSU.
- SIGNIFCANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant for the following reasons:
- It will highlight the existing conditions for conducting examination in EBSU. The apparent shortcoming will be identified which will help the school to solve the problem hereby examined.
- The findings of the study will go a long way towards examining the working conditions of the student in EBSU.
- Future research into this area of study would find the findings of the study relevant at least as a readily available referral material that can be use.
- Future polices of the government on examination malpractice can benefit from the study since the investigation and findings would be used as a readily available blue print.
1.6 OPERATIONALIZATION OF TERMS
- Missiles: This is the collusion of two or more students in an examination, where materials relevant to examination questions are carried conveniently in small size.
- Mercenary: It is the importation of a foreign body to write examination for someone else, usually the intelligent person who impersonates.
- Ecowas: Ecowas to examination cheats refers to a situation where two or more candidates sit together in an examination hall with a view to help each other either with their knowledge or prepared materials.
- Grafting: It is peeping into the work of another student in an examination.
- Dubbing: It means to copy answers examination from a textbook.
- Expo: It means examination crooks. Microchips. It is writing of anticipated answers pieces of paper with tiny handwritings.
- Sorting: This refers to a situation where a lecturer is induced in cash or kind by a student, in order to make the lecturer award illegal, indiscriminate and underserved marks to the student.
- Yarning: This means asking and answering of questions amongst friends during an examination.
- Pam: It refers to a situation where candidates come into examination hall, with textbooks and other prepared materials hidden in their person (either in pocket or in their shoe).
- Impersonation: It is the pretext to be someone else, arranging for another person to write exam for someone else.
- Collusion: it is the passing of unauthorized information between candidates, usually by exchanging notes or scripts.
- Plagiarism: It is defined as the failure to acknowledge the sources properly or the submission of another person’s work as if it was the candidate’s own.
- Super printing: it means the copying of answers to anticipated examination questions in any kind of fabrics (handkerchief, trousers, skirts etc).