1.1 Background to the Study
An examination according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary is a formal written, spoken or practical test, especially at school or college, to see how much one knows about a subject, or what one can do. Another definition has it that it is a formal test of knowledge or ability in a subject or skill; while some other definition sees it as a set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge.
In these definitions lies the primary essence of examination, which is to ascertain how much one knows of a particular subject matter; even though some persons still argue that examination is not a true test of knowledge.
Malpractice on the other hand, according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, refers to a careless, wrong or illegal behaviour while in a professional job. Put differently, it is an illegal, corrupt or careless professional behaviour. Concisely speaking, it is a deviation from the norm.
Going by the above, one can thus define examination malpractice to be, a careless, illegal, corrupt or wrong behaviour in issues pertaining to the determination of one’s level of knowledge on a particular subject matter. Simply put, it is a deviation from the norm in issues relating to the determination of how much one knows. One can also see examination malpractice as an unlawful behaviour or activity engaged by students to have personal advantage in an exam over their colleagues or mates who are competing in the same exam. Or an act of (omission or commission) that contravenes the rules and regulations of an exam to the extent of undermining the validity and reliability of the exam and ultimately, the integrity of the certificate issued.
Examination malpractices which started off as a minute issue has over the years grown into a full-fledged vice in the academic world; with different methods of perpetuating the act being invented with the passage of time. The issue has become so popular that it has almost become a culture among the students starting from the basics (Nursery and Primary) to even the advanced (Post-graduate) levels. In the light of this, one is forced to begin to ask some pertinent questions: What exactly is responsible for all these? Who is to be blamed? What can be done to save the situation? Among many others, it is this barrage of questions that this write up is out to tackle.
Be it pointed out here that the article focuses primarily on examination malpractice as it affects the tertiary level of education
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Examination malpractice is one social problem that is disturbing the Nigerian education sector and it requires a prompt remedy. Examination malpractice occurs in all levels of the Nigerian educational sector but the focus of this study is the secondary education level. Studies have shown that a lot of failures and anomalies happen in the careers of individuals because of the impact of the scourge of examination malpractice at this crucial level of education. The more the government, principals, examination bodies and other well meaning individuals try to find solutions to the problem, the more the perpetrators also device ways to frustrate such efforts.
The problem is becoming more scientific by the day; it is metamorphosing from the era of candidates copying from fellow candidates to using sophisticated electronic gadgets such as cell phones and concealed ear pieces. The problem of examination malpractice has reduced certificates issued in Nigeria into a worthless paper, such that a number of candidates with outstanding results cannot defend their certificates.
The performances of such candidates are not commensurate to the quality of their certificates. Most disheartening is the situation where candidates who have secured admission to study abroad are subjected to dehumanizing treatment because of suspicion on the authenticity of their certificates. The problem of the study therefore is to find out if innovative strategies for curbing examination malpractice in Nigeria’s public examination be determined.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions have been raised to examine the view of Examination Malpractice in Nigeria:
1. What is the prevalence of examination malpractice in Nigerian universities?
2. What are the types of examination malpractice being perpetuated in Nigerian universities?
3. What are the causes and influence of examination malpractice?
4. What are the solutions to the problem of examination malpractice in Nigerian universities?
Ho: There is no significant difference in the mean perception between students and lecturers of the existence of examination malpractice in universities.
Hi: There is significant difference in the mean perception between students and lecturers of the existence of examination malpractice in universities.
1.5 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study therefore is to assess the prevalence, causes, and consequences of examination malpractice on the measurement of students’ ability in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions.
Specifically, the study is arrived at the following objectives:
· To examine the types of examination malpractice being perpetuated in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions.
· To determine the causes and influence of examination malpractice
· To examine the types of examination malpractice being perpetuated in Nigeria tertiary institutions
· To examine the solution to the problems of examination malpractice in Nigeria Tertiary institutions
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is restricted to the analysis of examination malpractice in Nigeria using Auchi Polytechnic as a case study.
1.7 Significance of the Study
It is believed that the findings and recommendations of this research work will be of assistance to tertiary institution students and lecturers who encourages examination malpractices.
This study will also be a reference point to scholars and interested individuals seeking information and knowledge on how to prevent examination malpractices.