THE CAUSES OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

exam mal1

THE CAUSES OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES

IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

(A CASE STUDY OF IMO STATE UNIVERSITY, OWERRI)

 

 

BY

 

 

SEGUN AKINWALE OLAYIWOLA

G2005/PGDE/IE/FT/1446

 

 

A Research Project Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of Requirements for the Award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) to

 

 

Institute of Education, Faculty of Education

University of Port Harcourt

Port-Harcourt, Nigeria

 November, 2006.

 

 

 

ABSTRACT

 

Examination malpractice in Nigeria has become a social problem which has started authorities of education of learning on the face. It has secretly and publicly eaten deep into our educational system and has stubborn by defied all measures by successive government to stem it. To identify the causal factors of examination malpractices, the researcher used the descriptive survey design with a sample population of one hundred and fifty students (150) using the principle of non-proportional stratified sampling.

            In analyzing this research, the researcher found that ill-trained lecturers, inadequate preparation on the part of the students, over-emphasis on paper qualification and negligence on the part of government are the major causes of examination malpractices in tertiary institutions.

            At the end of the study, the researcher gives recommendation based on his findings. It is believed that the implementation of these recommendations will go a long way in checkmating the problem of examination malpractices.

                                                      

                                                     CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

  • Background of the study

Education is indeed necessary for effective life in every society. It is through education that an individual acquires knowledge and skills necessary for survival in the society. According to the Advance Learner’s Dictionary, Education is a process of training and instruction which is designed to give knowledge and develop skills. The objective of education is the acquisition of knowledge and skills through mental, physical and moral training to equip the learner to fit into the society after successfully going through a period of training. At the end of the training at the various levels of education, the learner is assessed to determine whether or not he has assimilated all or substantial amount of the training he has received. This is where examination comes in.

Examination is defined as a process which comes after a period of learning, and as an organized assessment of individual’s performance on the basis of his or her institution procedural-exposure. (Adelusi 1998), it is regarded as the most reliable and efficient means of assessing students in the educational system. However, the nagging problem in the same educational system is the credibility of examination results and certificates due to examination malpractices. The longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (1978 edition) in part, defines Malpractices as “unlawful activity usually for personal advantage…………”

In this vein, Madueke (1998:) averred that the case of examination malpractices in Nigeria is just one of the chains of malpractices in our society today. Examination malpractices is an attempt to have personal advantage for excellence by a students in an examination situation and without due regard for the feeling of other students who are competing for this same examination.

Adelusi (1998) describes examination malpractices as the most dangerous virus in the nation’s educational system, just like the Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the health sector. Its scope has widened over the years. It has graduated from simple misdemeanor of “giraffing” and whispering in the examination hall to deliberate and coordinated search for question papers ahead of examination fraud was done by individuals desperate to pass and acquire certain paper qualification. Forming one big unholy alliance to aid and abet examination malpractices these days are many school-heads, lecturers, invigilators, supervisors, students, examines and touts whose motive is to make quick money rather than genuine love for students being examined.

Agadah, (2002:17) gave three broad groups of examination malpractices as follow:

Pre-examination malpractice

During examination malpractices

Post examination malpractices

Pre-examination malpractice occurs when the examiner procure the question paper prior to the examination or has prior knowledge of its contents. This is commonly referred to as “Expo”.

exam mal

During examination, malpractices take place while the examination, brining materials relevant to the examination into the examination hall but not allowed into the hall, copying or writing relevant points on palm. Handkerchiefs, underwear, etc consulting materials outside the hall, getting external assistance and communications through exchange of answer booklets or question papers on which answers have been written.

Post examination malpractice occurs after the examination. It is enacted with the supervisor, examiners, course leaders, computer operators, custodians of answer sheets and the typists. It manifests in the form of re-writing of the paper after the examination, changing of score of arbitrary award of score.

 

  • statement of the problems

The issue of examination malpractice has occupied the centre-stage of public discourse in recent years. This is due to the realization of the great havoc which the vice has done to the nation’s educational system. Examination malpractice has gained ground in various institution of learning of which Imo State University, Owerri is not an exception. As a result of this ugly development in the educational sector, the philosophy behind the administration of examination tends to be undermined.

 

The manner in which examinations are swindled in our schools is very sad situation for a nation that has been estimate to have more than half of its population as illiterates. The rate of examination malpractice is on the outcome of this ugly phenomenon, Nigeria has not sustained the high education standards of the past.

There us therefore an extensive decay as many of the nation’s educational institution are characterized by indiscipline, immorality, truancy, violence, drug abuse, the proliferation of cult and various forms of examination malpractices.

Based on the fore going, the researcher wish to conduct an investigation into the forms of examination malpractice, the causes of examination malpractice and what strategy to be adopted to curb this ugly vice.

 

 

  • Objectives of the study

The study is aimed at identifying the remote and major factors that initiated, consolidated and sustained the existence of examination malpractice for decades in our educational industry with special focus on Imo State University, Owerri. More so, the study will:

  1. Identity, the causes of examination malpractice
  2. Determine the rate at which these cases contribute to the growth of examination malpractices.
  3. Identify the effect of examination malpractice on the quality of graduates in the country.
  4. Identify the side effects or consequence of examination malpractice.
  5. Identify strategies or ways to tackling the problem.

 

  • Research questions

In order to guide the study effectively, the researcher formulated the following research question.

  1. What are the major causes of students’ involvement in examination malpractices?
  2. What significant roles are played by the lecturers in examination malpractices?
  3. Does Government contribute to examination malpractices? How?
  4. How can examination malpractice be reduced?
  5. What are the effect of examination malpractices on the standard of education in Nigeria?

 

  • Scope of the study

The researcher’s interest is to investigate the causes of examination malpractices in Nigeria, with much emphasis on Imo State University Owerri.

  • Significant of the study

The study is of great significance as it investigates the causes of examination malpractices in our institutions of learning and at the same time proffering possible solution toward curbing the vice, thereby ensuring that scholars pursue academic with vigor and profundity, so that examination will have dignity and integrity. It is hoped that the result would help to improve the reputation of the educational sector in Nigeria.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1      Introduction

This chapter focuses on a detailed review of literature of related works on examination malpractices for a comprehensive analyses, the researcher organized this section under the following heading;

  • Extent of Examination Malpractices
  • Causes of Examination Malpractices
  • Forms of Examination Malpractices
  • Consequence of Examination Malpractices
  • Strategies of tackling Examination Malpractices.

2.2      Extent of examination malpractices

Gone are the days when students pursue academics with vigour and profundity. This explains why the quality and standard of education in Nigeria has drastically, some say beyond redemption consequently, the issue has according to Umar (2004) occupied the centre stage of public discovers in recent years.

Examination malpractice started with leakage of question paper before the date of the examinations. Over the years, many other ways of perpetuating these acts have been introduced and the eradication of the vice seemed an impossible task. Examination malpractices have become a social problem which has led to loss of confidence in the educational system.

According to Azih (1996:), many of our graduates (Tertiary institution graduates) in Nigeria cannot defend their certificate. Most graduates cannot perform in their areas of disciplines. This is so because during their undergraduate days, they engaged in different forms of examination malpractices to pass their examinations. Thus they do not possess the rudimentary grasp of the fundamentals of their professions.

Umar (2004:) stated that examination fraud has taken garb of an organize business. The pecuniary gains accruable from the business of examination malpractice have toughened the syndicates, pushing them to become more and more daring regardless of the sanctions being imposes on those caught cheating.

The new trend in our campuses is students joining cult to intimidate lecturer who exposed them while cheating or being to strict in examination. Some threat the lecturers while some kidnap the lecturer’s child or wife. The impact of these spate of attacks has, however, been debilitating to the nation’s educational system. Lecturers who work in unsafe environments can hardly be expected not to compromise standard.

2.4     Causes of examination malpractice

According to Ike (1982:) “one of the monstrous disease parading the norms and fabric of Nigeria social, political and economic growth in which the integrity and credibility of the Nation’s educational standard has remained questionable is the degeneration of examination malpractices among the ages of students academics and academic in the country”.

Much is being about the subject matter. “EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE,” the question now is what are the likely causes of examination malpractice?

Rowland gives an insight into factors that have exacerbated the problem of examination misconduct among students in higher institution. In his words the recurring incidents of students’ demonstration, incessant industrial action y different staff unions and frequent closure of higher education centres? The fortunate disruption and interaction had always deprived undergraduates of the priceless opportunities to diligent studies and adequately preparing for test and examinations.

Greediness on the part of lecturers and examiners (which often leads to collusion with candidates) is also a cause of examination malpractice. Some shameless lecturers collect money from students in order to help them cheat during examination process.

Poor security arrangement by the examination committee in institution of higher learning makes it possible for question papers to develop legs and walk to candidates before the actual date of examination.

Pointing out that the un-trained teachers is one of the major causes of examination malpractices.

Onah (2001), has it that inadequate mastery of subject and methods by teachers constitute a vice. This is as a result of the fact that some of the teachers are products of examination malpractices. They are employed to teach on the basis of the certificate they posses not on their ability and knowledge of their subjects. The result is that they teach what is wrong using wrong methods. This, of course, contributes to examination malpractices amongst students.

It should be noted too, that teaching requires masterly, skill, knowledge, experiences, quality/value, style and projection.

Where a teacher is incompetent in these respects, students resort to cheat in order to past their examination.

Igwe (1990:) states that examination malpractice is as a result of the contemporary Nigeria attitude of minimum output for maximum gain. From his view, moral laxity and worship of materials by the society could be viewed as a way of engaging in examination malpractices. This explains why some lecturers always abandoned their school work and pursue naira.

Some hardly attend lectures because they are out for one business or the other. In order to make up their lost hours, they involve in examination malpractices to ensure that students perform very well to avoid public shame and criticism.

The use of handout, key points etc contributes to examination malpractices in tertiary institution. Students are given the impression by lecturers that all the knowledge needed to pass are contained in a particular handout. These handouts are easily smuggled into examination hall than text books. Also there are cases of lecturers that give out examination question to their female student these female students abandon their studies to attend parties, film show, fashion parade, but once it is few days to examination, they start to pay visits to their male teachers. They believe that with their “bottom power” all things are possible.

The government on the other hands is also not helping matter. These explains why Opala state that “if Government paid much attention to maintaining the schools as it did to maintaining the toilet of the house of assembly, people would not have much complain about”.

The writer means that the Government of Nigeria spends money on white elephant projects instead of what will benefit the masses. He stresses that the conditions of our school are so poor and this affects learning and leads to examination malpractices. The condition of our schools is worse than the conditions of the toilet of the high places. No building, equipment and in some cases common chalk is purchased by students. The classrooms are congested, no fan etc.

Many state governments do not pay lecturers salaries regularly. This makes them to embark on other business in order to take care of their families. This is done to the detriment of the students. Some lecturers give course outline and handout to student without teaching them. How can such a person complain of cheating when he/she did not do what is expected of him? Some lecturers collect money to pass students, in Imo State University; it is called “sorting”, this is to provide income to maintain their family and cars. However, Yohanna (1997), observed that some students are addicted to this person (examination malpractice) because they are unnecessarily lazy and wayward. Instead of them concentrating on their studies, they engage in disastrous and suicidal past-time like drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual immorality, cultism, truancy and the likes.

2.4      Forms of examination malpractices

Examination malpractice takes several forms such as exposition, impersonation, examination leakages, connection from highest order places popularly known as IM(Ima Mmadu), direct copying, falsification of result, giraffing, entering the examination halls with answer sheets, clips etc.

In the words of Onah (2001:) “there are so many cases of students who deliberately cheat during examinations”. A candidate for an examination may bring in another person to write the examination for him/her. He/she may procure two examination scripts, one for him/herself and the other for the impersonator. The impersonator uses the candidates name while the candidate uses the impersonator’s forged name and number to write the examination.

Also, some students bring in textbooks, note and other “relevant materials” into the examination hall, for instance,

In 1997/1998 academic year, a final year student of physics in Imo state university (IMSU) smuggled in an already written answer script into the examination hall. There is also the case of students possessing examination question paper prior to examination date. These explained why in 1988, some examination paper were cancelled and resist in the department of Biological sciences, Imo State University, because it was discovered that they had leaked.

Examination fraud have taken another twist, as the brilliant students now collect sums of money from the dullards in order to impersonate for them. Hardened ones invite and pay students from other institutions that are doing similar courses to impersonate as bonafide students and write the examination for them. Students take part in examination for their friends; both of them enter the hall, write the examination but submit that of the impersonator. In that way, he dullard passes the examination. Ohiafu (1993) stressed that the discomforting aspect of the problem is the shameless, boldness and expertise exhibited by students these days in cheating in examinations. The various modern methods adopted by some of them in the crime are alarming. Some students copy answers on their laps linings of their dresses, others conceal outlined answers to possible question inside their pockets, stockings, shoes, caps and underwear before entering the examination hall, other obtain correct examination questions from some irresponsible lecturers, office clerks/secretaries, typist, relations or friend of the lecturer, machine operators. With the connivance of the teachers or invigilators, a brilliant student may be seated between the poor students who are allowed to copy from the brilliant student. In this ways, the answers of a brilliant student are usually referred to as the “POWER HOUSE”.

2.5      Consequences of examination malpractices

Examination malpractices have been doing lots of havoc to the educational standard of the country. Standard here means a yardstick for determining the level of quality in educational pursuit Ezegwu (1998:) defines as stated quality outcomes in a system that sustains durability and performance as end product in the system.

Gone are the days when the academics worth the academic worth or individual can be summed up from the grade in certificate. In fact, it has reached a level where school leavers can no longer substantiate their academic worth. The result is that we have medical doctors who kill/rather than save lives, Engineers who construct building that collapse who do not understand directives.

Azih (1996:) observed that “as a result of examination malpractice, many individuals pass out with certificates which they cannot defend. Most graduates cannot work in area they claim to be professionals. The society is injected with the production of half-baked professional and lowered the productivity rate of the work force. It has killed the spirit and virtue of hard –work and diligence among students. The youths are the leaders of tomorrow; fraudulent youth will lead fraudulently. The future of Nigeria is thus jeopardized and condemned”.

Another devastating consequence of examination malpractice is that lot of funds is being spent by Government and institutions administrators on seminars and workshops, aimed at controlling the menace. The funds would have been better utilized for the development of institutions and the entire educational system.

Examination malpractices also go a long way in affecting the manpower production capacity of a nation. This is because, students of higher institutions of learning are being expelled coupled with those that are not opportune to proceed for further studies owing to cancellation of or delay in the release of their results all combined to reduce the available man power base. One cannot but admit the fact that the nation need adequate manpower to catalyze her development at this period of it history.

2.6      Strategies for tackling examination malpractice

To eliminate examination malpractice in our institution of higher learning and in Nigeria at large, Adoba (1985:) suggested inculcating in the citizens a true sense of hard work and dedication in all spheres of human endeavour since no human endeavour is an Island. If from the early stage in training, children are made to be positively transferred to other aspects of life experience. To cure this societal ill, we need no drug but the solution should come educational institutions and examination bodies and from all of us.

Thus, one sees a society where every student is struggling to make high grades either by hook or crook in order to get employed. On paper qualification and more emphasis on skill and knowledge acquisition by employers of labour will reduce examination malpractice and make students study for skills/knowledge acquisition rather than getting high grade through foul means.

Mallum, (1991), in his contribution also advocated for de-emphasis on paper qualification. This call by Mallum is welcome idea since employment opportunities are no longer based on individual competence but on the acquisition of certificates. Mallum further suggested that all things being equal, if paper qualification is de-emphasized, majority of our students will know that is no gain in obtaining what they do not work for.

Ezeadi (1986:), stated that to reduce the lack of ability to perform well in examination, better qualified lecturers should be recruited. He said that a house with a weak foundation cannot be strong. When students are poorly prepared and them know it, they tend to find ways to close the gap between themselves and others supposedly better prepared.

According to Echezona (1985), it is because some lecturers today do not have anything to offer and when this is the case, the student lose interest in their studies and become afraid of examinations and resort to cheating fraud, as such, examination should be monitored by a central examination body and lecturers should be mixed up for supervising exercise. Economics lecturers should not be allowed to supervise examinations of Economics, rather lecturer from a different department or faculty should be called upon.

Also, the allegation that many lecturers do not always present themselves for examination invigilation when so assigned must be looked into. Such act of negligence of duty must be viewed by member of the academia as academic sacrilege and duly punished with the punishment contained in the miscellaneous offences decree. Invigilators that should invigilate should be many in each hall. So that no breathing space will be given to students to cheat and the arrangement of writing desks and seats should be such that they will be far from each other so that students will not be accorded the opportunity to cheat.

It is common to see students who hire people to sit for an examination for them, in order to checkmate this ugly incident, Apeh (1995) suggested that there is the need to endorse passport photographs of candidates on their examination card, candidate who fail to come with their examination card should be denied entry into examination hall. According to him, this will reduce cases of candidates hiring people to sit for examination. Apeh went further to say that there is now an increased need to tighten the security network of the various professional and other examination bodies. Strict surveillance should be applied at all levels of marking the examination questions. At every stage only experienced hand honest examiners should be involved.

Examination should be done in batches i.e. first year students before second year students. This is to create enough space for the examination as the school (Imo State University) lacks enough classroom blocks. This is to avoid too many students sitting on one desk for examination.

More so, the provision of a guidance and counseling unit will help to curb examination malpractices. Students should be made to known the ills inherent in indulging in examination malpractice and the gains they are likely to derive when they do not indulge in it. The use of guidance/counselors will help students to know the level of experiences themselves.

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHOD

3.1      Introduction

This chapter delves into the design, the population of the study, the area of the study, the sample and sampling techniques, the, method of data collection, description of the instrument used and validity and reliability of the instrument for data analysis.

3.2      Design of the study

                        For the comprehensive analysis of the work, the descriptive survey methods of data analysis was employed.

3.3      Area of study

                        This study was carried out in south-eastern part of the country (Nigeria). There are many institutions of higher learning in this part of the country but for the sake of clarity and detail analysis, this work restricted to Imo State University, Owerri. This is based on the assumption that the behaviour of all students of higher institutions of learning in the South-east region is alike

3.4      Population of the study

                        The population of this study comprises of all regular students in the degree programme of Imo State University Owerri.

However, the estimiated population in these categories (i.e. the entire population of the study) is ten thousand students (10,000).

3.5      Sample and sampling techniques

                        This sample consist of 150 students were randomly selected form the Three Faculties Imo State University, Owerri.

The technique ensured that every student with regard to their gender, year of study and schools (faculty) was given the opportunity of being selected it equally gave room for a good representation of all the students in that academic year the 150 sample were drawn as follows:

 

Faculty of Business Administration              –           50 Students

Faculty of social sciences                                   –           50 students

150 students

3.6      Instrumentation

The researcher designed a questionnaire made up of two sections.

Section A of the questionnaire requires information about the personal characteristics of the students which include the following: Sex, Age, Group, Year of study, school.

Section B was drafted based on the research questions. The questionnaire was designed to elicit responses on the causes of examination malpractices in Imo State University, Owerri.

The questionnaire was made up of Twenty-five questions. A 4-point liker scale of: Strongly Agreed (SA), Agree(A), Disagree(D), Strongly Disagree(SD) was used to determine the respondents of the questions.

3.7      Validation of the instrument

                        The questionnaire administrated by the researcher was vetted by the supervisor and two other lecturers in the department after which the researcher effected necessary corrections.

3.8      Reliability of the instrument

                        The researcher used the re-test method of the interval of fourteen-days to establish the reliability of the instrument before it assumed the final state. The reliability index was 0.86 using the spearman’s Correlation Coefficient(s)

3.9      Data collection procedure

The researcher went to Imo State University, campus and distributed the questionnaire randomly in line with the sample mapped out for the study.

To ensure effective administration, the respondents were expected to adhere to instructions and seek for explanation where necessary.

The questionnaires were collected on the spot.

 

3.10   Method of data analysis

In analysis the raw collected from the respondents, tables and descriptive statistics were used such as simple percentage.

The researcher analyzed the responses and worked out the percentage in relation to the total number of responses, after which comments were made based on the calculated percentage.

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

4.1      Introduction

                        This chapter deals with the presentation and analysis of data and finding which dealt on cause of examination malpractices in tertiary institutions.

Responses to the items in the questionnaire were used to answer the research questions earlier posed. One hundred and fifty questionnaires were administrated for the faculties in Imo State University, Owerri.

All the questionnaires administered were returned indicating 100% return rate. The analysis dates are in tabular form with respect to the research questions stated.

4.2      Research question (1): what are the major causes of students’ involvement in examination malpractices?

            Four questionnaires items are posed for the respondents as follows:

Item 1: Over emphasis on paper qualification is the main reason for examination malpractice.

Item 2: Inadequate preparation of students before the examination, result in examination malpractice.

Item 3: Students who lack pre-requisite admission requirement and who therefore cannot cope with the course try their lack in cheating during examination.

Item 4: students indulge in examination malpractice due to lack of self confidence.

4.3      Table 1:

            Responses to questionnaire items based on research question 1”

Major cause of examination malpractice

 

Question items SA A D SD Total
No % NO %s NO % NO % NO %
Item 1 100 66.6 39 126 11 7.3 150 100
Item 2 142 94.6 8 5.3 150 100
Item 3 41 27.3 67 44.6 23 15.3 19 12.6 150 100
Item 4 47 31.3 81 54 21 14 1 0.6 150 100

 

From the analysis above, 92.6% that over-emphasis on paper qualification is the main reason for examination malpractice while 7.3% disagree. Hundred percent (100%) agreed to the point that students resort to examination malpractices as a result of inadequate preparations

Seventy-two percent (71.9%) agreed that students who lack pre-requisite admission requirement and cannot cope with the course try their luck in cheating while 27.9 disagreed.

Lastly, 85.3% agreed to be view that students indulge in examination malpractice had contrary view.

4.4      Research question 2

            What significance roles are played by the lectures in examination malpractices?

To answer this question, the following questionnaire items are posed for the respondents as follows:

Item 1: Some lecturers aid examination malpractices by recycling the examination question.

Items 2: Some lecturers condone examination malpractices for fear of reprisal by the students, especially if the culprits are cultists.

Items 3: Some lecturers condone examination malpractices in the hall if their relatives of friends are partaking in the examination.

Items 4: Some Students engage in examination malpractices because they are not properly taught by their lecturers before the examinations.

 

4.5      Table 2:

            Response to questionnaire items bearing on research question 2: Significant roles of lecturers in examination malpractices

Question Items SA A D SD Total
No % No % No % No % No %
Item 1 18 12 45 30 54 36 33 22 150 100
Item 2 39 26 51 34 22 22 27 18 150 100
Item 3 23 15.3 62 41.3 40 26.7 25 16.6 150 100
Item 4 33 22 60 40 30 2o 27 18 150 100

Table 2 shows that 42% of the respondents agreed that some lecturers aid examination malpractices by recycling the examination questions, while 58% had contrary view.

Sixty percent (60%) of the respondents agreed that lecturers condone examination malpractices for fear of reprisals by the students especially if the culprits are cultists. Forty percent (40%) disagreed.

Fifty  six percent (56%) of the respondent supports the view that some lecturer condole examination malpractices in the hall if their relatives or friends are partaking in the examination 43.2% have a contrary view.

Sixty-two (62%) percent of the respondent also supports the view that some students engage in examination malpractices because they are not properly taught by their lecturers before the examination. The remaining thirty-eight percent however do not support this view point.

 

 

 

4.6 Research question 3

Does government contribute to examination malpractice? How to answer this question, three questionnaire items are draw as follows:

Item 1: Students engage in examination malpractices because government does not use strict penalties against offenders.

Item 2: Government lay much emphasis on paper qualification i.e. (certificate).

Item 3: Government does not provide well qualified teachers for schools to prepare students adequately for examination.

4.7      Table 3

            Responses to questionnaire items bearing on research question 4:

Does government contribute to examination malpractices?

Question items SA A D SD Total
No % No % No % No % No %
Item 1 34 22.6 30 20 36 24 50 33.3 150 100
Item 2 33 22 72 48 27 18 18 18 150 100
Item 3 27 18 51 34 30 20 42 28 150 100

 

The data collected and represented in the above table shoe that almost forty-three percent (42.6%) of the respondents agreed that some students engage in examination malpractices because Government does not use strict penalties against offenders. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents object to this opinion. Seven percent (70%) of the sample population agrees that students engage in examination malpractices because the Government tends to attach too much emphasis on paper qualification. The remaining thirty percent (30%) are not in support of this opinion.

More so, fifty-two percent (52%) of the sample population opinion that examination on malpractices remains on the increase, as a result of Government failure to provide well qualified tutors for schools to prepare students adequately for examination. The remaining forty-eight percent have a contrary view.

4.8      Research question 4

            How do we reduce examination malpractices in our institutions?

To answer this question three questionnaire items are draw as follows:

Item 1: De-emphasizing paper qualification

Item 2: Issuing strict penalties against offenders

Item 3: Recruitment of trained and qualified teachers will help to reduce examination malpractice.

4.9     Table 4:

            Responses to questionnaire items bearing on research question 5:

How do we reduce examination malpractice in our institutions?

Question Items  

SA

 

A

 

D

 

SD

 

T150otal

No % No % No % No % No %
Item 1 45 30 81 54 15 10 9 6 150 100
Item 2 57 38 69 46 18 12 6 4 150 100
Item 3 27 18 51 34 54 36 18 12 150 100

 

From the table above, it is discovered that eighty-four percent (84%) of the respondents agreed that examination malpractices can be reduced by government and corporate bodies reducing the emphasis they lay on paper qualification. The remaining sixteen percent of the sample population object to these opinion.

The same table further shows that eighty-four percent (84%) of the respondent support the view go along way in curbing the problem of examination malpractices. The remaining sixteen percent of the sample population object to these opinion.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of the sample population agreed that examination malpractices can be reduced by recruiting trained and qualified tutors. However, the remaining forty-eight percent of the sample population object to this opinion.

 

 

4.10 Research question 5:

           What are the effects of examination malpractices on the standard of educations in Nigeria?

The following questionnaire items are draw from this question to enable the researchers answer this question.

4.11 Tablet 5

           Responses to questionnaire items bearing on research VI:

What are the effects of examination malpractices on the standard of Education in Nigeria?

Question Items  

SA

 

A

 

D

 

SD

 

Total

No % No % No % No % No %
Item 1 72 48 66 44 9 6 3 2 150 100

 

From the table above, ninety-two percent (92%) of the respondent population support the view that the major effect of examination malpractices on the standard of Education in Nigeria is the production of half baked/unqualified graduates. The remaining eighty percent of the sample population, however, objects to this opinion.

4.12 Summary of findings

                       From the fore going, the following findings were discovered.

  1. Lecturers condone examination malpractice in the hall if their relation or friends are involved.
  2. Students engage in examination malpractice because they were not properly taught before the examination.
  3. Lecturers condone malpractice for fear of reprisal by students especially cultist.
  4. Some parent encourages lecturers by giving them money to help their children during or after the examination.
  5. Most students engage in examination malpractice to win societal honour that goes with success.
  6. Inadequate preparation of students before the examination makes them to involve in examination malpractices.
  7. Inability of Government to use strict penalties against offenders does not encourage examination malpractices.
  8. The inability of Government to provide necessary materials for school contributes to examination malpractices in institutions of higher learning.
  9. Examination malpractice remains on the increase because much emphasis is placed on paper qualification.
  10. Government does not employed well qualified lecturers to prepare students adequately for examination.
  11. The problem of examination malpractices can be reduced by rewarding schools for good examination conduct
  12. Reducing the unnecessary emphasis laid on paper qualification will go a long way in check-making examination malpractices.
  13. Examination fraud can be checked/reduced by launching strict penalties against offenders
  14. Examination malpractice has led to lack of confidence in our examination system.
  15. Examination malpractice results in the production of half-baked graduates. A problem affecting every sector of the economic.

 

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE

   DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION

                       AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Introduction

This chapter discusses the results of the study based on the analyzed data presented in chapter FOUR.

Also discussed in this chapter are summary of the entire work, recommendations, suggestions for further study as well the limitations of the study.

 

 

  • Discussion on findings

Research questions provide the base upon which the discussion of the finding are made. From the results of the investigation, it is discovered that some students get involved in examination malpractice because of the societal honour that goes with success. Most students went to achieved success while they are not adequately prepared for the examination.

In the words of Okeke (1982), “Our education system is examination-oriented and as such schools with poor and inadequate teachers and equipment will score lower grade than school with better staff and equipment.

To correct this imbalance, students involve in examination malpractices. However, possession of paper qualification does not necessary mean that someone is educated particularly if the certificate had been forged or the examination rigged. Thus the views hold about education is one of the reasons why students struggle and are well prepared to do anything including all sorts of examination malpractices technique to pass examinations in a do or die way.

The finding on the research question II (concerning the roles played by lecturers in examination malpractices) shows that lecturers play significant roles in examination malpractice in Nigeria.

In examination situation, some lecturers go extra miles to help their friends and relatives, even inside the examination hall. It was also discovered that some lecturers do not teach very well to prepare students for examination while some condone examination malpractice for fear of reprisal.

According to Rowland (1993), the recurring incident of unnecessary incessant industrial action and frequent closure of higher institutions deprived undergraduates the opportunities to diligent studies and adequate preparation for examination. Supporting the view, Igwe (1990), states that “examination malpractices is as a result of Nigeria attitude of minimum input for maximum gain.”

The craze of many teachers to get rich over night makes them to give out examination papers to prospective candidates on order to get rich.

From the results of the investigation on research question (III) (Do Government contribute to examination malpractices) it discovered that Government contributes to examination malpractices. Teaching materials and facilities, qualified lecturers are not adequately provided for schools. This explains why Oputa (2003), said that “If Government pay much attention to maintaining schools as it did to maintaining the toilets of the National Assembly, people will not have much complain about.

The findings on research question (IV) (How can examination malpractice be reduced) revealed that some of the measures to be adopted in order to reduce examination malpractices in Nigeria. The measure suggested by the researcher includes; rewarding school for good examination conduct, de-emphasizing paper qualification and issuing strict penalties against offenders.

According to Adoba (1958) says “To correct this ugly situation, there is need to inculcate in the citizens a true sense of hard work and dedication in all spheres of human endeavour”. To him if a child is made to realize the importance of hard work, there is the tendency that this will be transferred to other aspect of life.

Justice S.U. Sogbefun, suggested tightening loopholes in the present system of examination. That is, using alternative methods and reducing 100% weight placed on examination.

From the result of the investigation on research question (V) (What are the effects of examination malpractice on the standard of education in Nigeria) it was discovered that there are a lot of notable effects of examination malpractices on the standard of education in Nigeria. These are massive drop out, increase in crime waves in our institutions of higher learning, lack of confidence in our examination system and production of half-baked/unqualified graduates.

According to Madubuike(1980) “Education malpractices bring distortion in our education and men power development.” When people are employed based on their certificates which are gotten through cheating, they may not perform effectively.

Ezimorah(1991) says that a particular sin could give rise to chains of similar sins. This means that examination malpractice of Nigerian students who went to study abroad. In the same way Otorunde expressed that our school and societies are transforming our students into a generation of sociological delinquency. That is, making students feel that there is nothing wrong in cheating.

  • Summary

The study is on the causes of examination malpractices in Nigeria Universities, with particular reference to Imo State University, Owerri.

The target of the study is to investigate the likely causes of examination malpractice and its effects on standard of education in tertiary institutions.

The researcher made use of the following research questions.

  1. What are the major causes of student’s involvement in examination malpractices?
  2. What significant roles are played by the lecturers in examination malpractices?
  3. Do Government contribute to examination malpractice?
  4. How can examination malpractice be reduces?
  5. What are the effects of examination malpractices on the standard of education in Nigeria?

In the course of this research, one hundred and fifty students

(150) were selected from various faculties in Imo State University, Owerri.

The results of the finding revealed that the lecturers, parents, students and even Government played significant roles in examination malpractices.

Some lecturers give questions to the students before the examination. Some fail to prepare the students well for examination while some collect money and award marks.

Parents allow their intelligent wards to write examination for the less intelligent ones. Some parents give bribe to lecturers (through their children or wards) while most do not provide relevant reading materials.

On the part of the students, the study revealed that students do not read very well for examination, they, therefore, go into the halls with answers tucked into different parts of their body, some write on desk, currency note, some even store answer in their calculation or handset.

The result also show that government do not employ qualify staff, provide necessary facilities and much emphasis is placed on paper qualification and adequate penalties are not provided for offenders.

To solve these problems, the researcher offered a number of suggestions and it is hoped that if strictly followed, examination malpractices will be a thing of the past in our schools.

  • Conclusion

Based on the findings, the study has revealed the cause and effects of examination malpractices in tertiary institutions.

The research found out that the followings contribution to examination malpractices; lecturers, parents, students and Government.

Finally, examination malpractices have greater effects on academic achievement of students.

 

  • Recommendations

On the basic of the findings, the following recommendations are given by the researcher:

  • Lecturers found encouraging or taking part in examination malpractices should be demoted and re-assigned where he will not have access to examination materials.
  • There should be effective teaching by the lecturers to improve the standard of education.
  • More qualified lecturers should be employed and assigned courses according to their area of specialization.
  • Parents should give/provide necessary school materials and avoid giving money to officials who are handing examinations.
  • Any student caught in examination malpractices should be expelled and denied admission to another school in Nigeria.
  • There should be good counseling unit in secondary schools where students will be counseled adequately on course to study.
  • Government should provide necessary school facilities, de-emphasizing paper qualification and ensure strict penalties for offenders.
  • Government should reward schools for good examination conduct.
  • Government should organize seminars/workshops to enlighten people on the effects of examination malpractices.

 

 

                                  REFERENCES

Adoba, P. (1995). The Challenges of examination Malpractices

Owerri. Maximal book publishers Ltd.

 

Aka, S. M (1976) Comprehensive and essay writing Lagos:

Omotage Standard press.

 

Akinpelu, J. A. (1987). An introduction to philosophy of education

London: Macmillan press.

Amadi, R. N. (1996). Principle and method of teaching and learning.

Owerri: Cajec publications.

 

Ani, C. I. (1996). A lecturer on problems and prospects on education.

Unpublished, Enugu State University of Science and Technology.

 

Apeh, U. (1995, November 20). Solution towards examination

malpractice. News Watch, P.22.

Azih, C. E. (1995, May 11). The problems of examination malpractice.

Daily star, P. 15-16

 

Emenogu, B. C. (1995). Educational assessment (concept and application).

Benin: Barloz publishers, Inc.

Onah, J. (2001, November 9). Effects of examination Malpractices on

Nigeria’s educational system: Management service. Daily

Champion, P. 19.

 

ABSTRACT

 

Examination malpractice in Nigeria has become a social problem which has started authorities of education of learning on the face. It has secretly and publicly eaten deep into our educational system and has stubborn by defied all measures by successive government to stem it. To identify the causal factors of examination malpractices, the researcher used the descriptive survey design with a sample population of one hundred and fifty students (150) using the principle of non-proportional stratified sampling.

            In analyzing this research, the researcher found that ill-trained lecturers, inadequate preparation on the part of the students, over-emphasis on paper qualification and negligence on the part of government are the major causes of examination malpractices in tertiary institutions.

            At the end of the study, the researcher gives recommendation based on his findings. It is believed that the implementation of these recommendations will go a long way in checkmating the problem of examination malpractices.

                                                      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                     CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

  • Background of the study

Education is indeed necessary for effective life in every society. It is through education that an individual acquires knowledge and skills necessary for survival in the society. According to the Advance Learner’s Dictionary, Education is a process of training and instruction which is designed to give knowledge and develop skills. The objective of education is the acquisition of knowledge and skills through mental, physical and moral training to equip the learner to fit into the society after successfully going through a period of training. At the end of the training at the various levels of education, the learner is assessed to determine whether or not he has assimilated all or substantial amount of the training he has received. This is where examination comes in.

Examination is defined as a process which comes after a period of learning, and as an organized assessment of individual’s performance on the basis of his or her institution procedural-exposure. (Adelusi 1998), it is regarded as the most reliable and efficient means of assessing students in the educational system. However, the nagging problem in the same educational system is the credibility of examination results and certificates due to examination malpractices. The longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (1978 edition) in part, defines Malpractices as “unlawful activity usually for personal advantage…………”

In this vein, Madueke (1998:) averred that the case of examination malpractices in Nigeria is just one of the chains of malpractices in our society today. Examination malpractices is an attempt to have personal advantage for excellence by a students in an examination situation and without due regard for the feeling of other students who are competing for this same examination.

Adelusi (1998) describes examination malpractices as the most dangerous virus in the nation’s educational system, just like the Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the health sector. Its scope has widened over the years. It has graduated from simple misdemeanor of “giraffing” and whispering in the examination hall to deliberate and coordinated search for question papers ahead of examination fraud was done by individuals desperate to pass and acquire certain paper qualification. Forming one big unholy alliance to aid and abet examination malpractices these days are many school-heads, lecturers, invigilators, supervisors, students, examines and touts whose motive is to make quick money rather than genuine love for students being examined.

Agadah, (2002:17) gave three broad groups of examination malpractices as follow:

Pre-examination malpractice

During examination malpractices

Post examination malpractices

Pre-examination malpractice occurs when the examiner procure the question paper prior to the examination or has prior knowledge of its contents. This is commonly referred to as “Expo”.

During examination, malpractices take place while the examination, brining materials relevant to the examination into the examination hall but not allowed into the hall, copying or writing relevant points on palm. Handkerchiefs, underwear, etc consulting materials outside the hall, getting external assistance and communications through exchange of answer booklets or question papers on which answers have been written.

Post examination malpractice occurs after the examination. It is enacted with the supervisor, examiners, course leaders, computer operators, custodians of answer sheets and the typists. It manifests in the form of re-writing of the paper after the examination, changing of score of arbitrary award of score.

 

  • statement of the problems

The issue of examination malpractice has occupied the centre-stage of public discourse in recent years. This is due to the realization of the great havoc which the vice has done to the nation’s educational system. Examination malpractice has gained ground in various institution of learning of which Imo State University, Owerri is not an exception. As a result of this ugly development in the educational sector, the philosophy behind the administration of examination tends to be undermined.

 

The manner in which examinations are swindled in our schools is very sad situation for a nation that has been estimate to have more than half of its population as illiterates. The rate of examination malpractice is on the outcome of this ugly phenomenon, Nigeria has not sustained the high education standards of the past.

There us therefore an extensive decay as many of the nation’s educational institution are characterized by indiscipline, immorality, truancy, violence, drug abuse, the proliferation of cult and various forms of examination malpractices.

Based on the fore going, the researcher wish to conduct an investigation into the forms of examination malpractice, the causes of examination malpractice and what strategy to be adopted to curb this ugly vice.

 

 

  • Objectives of the study

The study is aimed at identifying the remote and major factors that initiated, consolidated and sustained the existence of examination malpractice for decades in our educational industry with special focus on Imo State University, Owerri. More so, the study will:

  1. Identity, the causes of examination malpractice
  2. Determine the rate at which these cases contribute to the growth of examination malpractices.
  3. Identify the effect of examination malpractice on the quality of graduates in the country.
  4. Identify the side effects or consequence of examination malpractice.
  5. Identify strategies or ways to tackling the problem.

 

  • Research questions

In order to guide the study effectively, the researcher formulated the following research question.

  1. What are the major causes of students’ involvement in examination malpractices?
  2. What significant roles are played by the lecturers in examination malpractices?
  3. Does Government contribute to examination malpractices? How?
  4. How can examination malpractice be reduced?
  5. What are the effect of examination malpractices on the standard of education in Nigeria?

 

  • Scope of the study

The researcher’s interest is to investigate the causes of examination malpractices in Nigeria, with much emphasis on Imo State University Owerri.

  • Significant of the study

The study is of great significance as it investigates the causes of examination malpractices in our institutions of learning and at the same time proffering possible solution toward curbing the vice, thereby ensuring that scholars pursue academic with vigor and profundity, so that examination will have dignity and integrity. It is hoped that the result would help to improve the reputation of the educational sector in Nigeria.

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1      Introduction

This chapter focuses on a detailed review of literature of related works on examination malpractices for a comprehensive analyses, the researcher organized this section under the following heading;

  • Extent of Examination Malpractices
  • Causes of Examination Malpractices
  • Forms of Examination Malpractices
  • Consequence of Examination Malpractices
  • Strategies of tackling Examination Malpractices.

2.2      Extent of examination malpractices

Gone are the days when students pursue academics with vigour and profundity. This explains why the quality and standard of education in Nigeria has drastically, some say beyond redemption consequently, the issue has according to Umar (2004) occupied the centre stage of public discovers in recent years.

Examination malpractice started with leakage of question paper before the date of the examinations. Over the years, many other ways of perpetuating these acts have been introduced and the eradication of the vice seemed an impossible task. Examination malpractices have become a social problem which has led to loss of confidence in the educational system.

According to Azih (1996:), many of our graduates (Tertiary institution graduates) in Nigeria cannot defend their certificate. Most graduates cannot perform in their areas of disciplines. This is so because during their undergraduate days, they engaged in different forms of examination malpractices to pass their examinations. Thus they do not possess the rudimentary grasp of the fundamentals of their professions.

Umar (2004:) stated that examination fraud has taken garb of an organize business. The pecuniary gains accruable from the business of examination malpractice have toughened the syndicates, pushing them to become more and more daring regardless of the sanctions being imposes on those caught cheating.

The new trend in our campuses is students joining cult to intimidate lecturer who exposed them while cheating or being to strict in examination. Some threat the lecturers while some kidnap the lecturer’s child or wife. The impact of these spate of attacks has, however, been debilitating to the nation’s educational system. Lecturers who work in unsafe environments can hardly be expected not to compromise standard.

2.4     Causes of examination malpractice

According to Ike (1982:) “one of the monstrous disease parading the norms and fabric of Nigeria social, political and economic growth in which the integrity and credibility of the Nation’s educational standard has remained questionable is the degeneration of examination malpractices among the ages of students academics and academic in the country”.

Much is being about the subject matter. “EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE,” the question now is what are the likely causes of examination malpractice?

Rowland gives an insight into factors that have exacerbated the problem of examination misconduct among students in higher institution. In his words the recurring incidents of students’ demonstration, incessant industrial action y different staff unions and frequent closure of higher education centres? The fortunate disruption and interaction had always deprived undergraduates of the priceless opportunities to diligent studies and adequately preparing for test and examinations.

Greediness on the part of lecturers and examiners (which often leads to collusion with candidates) is also a cause of examination malpractice. Some shameless lecturers collect money from students in order to help them cheat during examination process.

Poor security arrangement by the examination committee in institution of higher learning makes it possible for question papers to develop legs and walk to candidates before the actual date of examination.

Pointing out that the un-trained teachers is one of the major causes of examination malpractices.

Onah (2001), has it that inadequate mastery of subject and methods by teachers constitute a vice. This is as a result of the fact that some of the teachers are products of examination malpractices. They are employed to teach on the basis of the certificate they posses not on their ability and knowledge of their subjects. The result is that they teach what is wrong using wrong methods. This, of course, contributes to examination malpractices amongst students.

It should be noted too, that teaching requires masterly, skill, knowledge, experiences, quality/value, style and projection.

Where a teacher is incompetent in these respects, students resort to cheat in order to past their examination.

Igwe (1990:) states that examination malpractice is as a result of the contemporary Nigeria attitude of minimum output for maximum gain. From his view, moral laxity and worship of materials by the society could be viewed as a way of engaging in examination malpractices. This explains why some lecturers always abandoned their school work and pursue naira.

Some hardly attend lectures because they are out for one business or the other. In order to make up their lost hours, they involve in examination malpractices to ensure that students perform very well to avoid public shame and criticism.

The use of handout, key points etc contributes to examination malpractices in tertiary institution. Students are given the impression by lecturers that all the knowledge needed to pass are contained in a particular handout. These handouts are easily smuggled into examination hall than text books. Also there are cases of lecturers that give out examination question to their female student these female students abandon their studies to attend parties, film show, fashion parade, but once it is few days to examination, they start to pay visits to their male teachers. They believe that with their “bottom power” all things are possible.

The government on the other hands is also not helping matter. These explains why Opala state that “if Government paid much attention to maintaining the schools as it did to maintaining the toilet of the house of assembly, people would not have much complain about”.

The writer means that the Government of Nigeria spends money on white elephant projects instead of what will benefit the masses. He stresses that the conditions of our school are so poor and this affects learning and leads to examination malpractices. The condition of our schools is worse than the conditions of the toilet of the high places. No building, equipment and in some cases common chalk is purchased by students. The classrooms are congested, no fan etc.

Many state governments do not pay lecturers salaries regularly. This makes them to embark on other business in order to take care of their families. This is done to the detriment of the students. Some lecturers give course outline and handout to student without teaching them. How can such a person complain of cheating when he/she did not do what is expected of him? Some lecturers collect money to pass students, in Imo State University; it is called “sorting”, this is to provide income to maintain their family and cars. However, Yohanna (1997), observed that some students are addicted to this person (examination malpractice) because they are unnecessarily lazy and wayward. Instead of them concentrating on their studies, they engage in disastrous and suicidal past-time like drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual immorality, cultism, truancy and the likes.

2.4      Forms of examination malpractices

Examination malpractice takes several forms such as exposition, impersonation, examination leakages, connection from highest order places popularly known as IM(Ima Mmadu), direct copying, falsification of result, giraffing, entering the examination halls with answer sheets, clips etc.

In the words of Onah (2001:) “there are so many cases of students who deliberately cheat during examinations”. A candidate for an examination may bring in another person to write the examination for him/her. He/she may procure two examination scripts, one for him/herself and the other for the impersonator. The impersonator uses the candidates name while the candidate uses the impersonator’s forged name and number to write the examination.

Also, some students bring in textbooks, note and other “relevant materials” into the examination hall, for instance,

In 1997/1998 academic year, a final year student of physics in Imo state university (IMSU) smuggled in an already written answer script into the examination hall. There is also the case of students possessing examination question paper prior to examination date. These explained why in 1988, some examination paper were cancelled and resist in the department of Biological sciences, Imo State University, because it was discovered that they had leaked.

Examination fraud have taken another twist, as the brilliant students now collect sums of money from the dullards in order to impersonate for them. Hardened ones invite and pay students from other institutions that are doing similar courses to impersonate as bonafide students and write the examination for them. Students take part in examination for their friends; both of them enter the hall, write the examination but submit that of the impersonator. In that way, he dullard passes the examination. Ohiafu (1993) stressed that the discomforting aspect of the problem is the shameless, boldness and expertise exhibited by students these days in cheating in examinations. The various modern methods adopted by some of them in the crime are alarming. Some students copy answers on their laps linings of their dresses, others conceal outlined answers to possible question inside their pockets, stockings, shoes, caps and underwear before entering the examination hall, other obtain correct examination questions from some irresponsible lecturers, office clerks/secretaries, typist, relations or friend of the lecturer, machine operators. With the connivance of the teachers or invigilators, a brilliant student may be seated between the poor students who are allowed to copy from the brilliant student. In this ways, the answers of a brilliant student are usually referred to as the “POWER HOUSE”.

2.5      Consequences of examination malpractices

Examination malpractices have been doing lots of havoc to the educational standard of the country. Standard here means a yardstick for determining the level of quality in educational pursuit Ezegwu (1998:) defines as stated quality outcomes in a system that sustains durability and performance as end product in the system.

Gone are the days when the academics worth the academic worth or individual can be summed up from the grade in certificate. In fact, it has reached a level where school leavers can no longer substantiate their academic worth. The result is that we have medical doctors who kill/rather than save lives, Engineers who construct building that collapse who do not understand directives.

Azih (1996:) observed that “as a result of examination malpractice, many individuals pass out with certificates which they cannot defend. Most graduates cannot work in area they claim to be professionals. The society is injected with the production of half-baked professional and lowered the productivity rate of the work force. It has killed the spirit and virtue of hard –work and diligence among students. The youths are the leaders of tomorrow; fraudulent youth will lead fraudulently. The future of Nigeria is thus jeopardized and condemned”.

Another devastating consequence of examination malpractice is that lot of funds is being spent by Government and institutions administrators on seminars and workshops, aimed at controlling the menace. The funds would have been better utilized for the development of institutions and the entire educational system.

Examination malpractices also go a long way in affecting the manpower production capacity of a nation. This is because, students of higher institutions of learning are being expelled coupled with those that are not opportune to proceed for further studies owing to cancellation of or delay in the release of their results all combined to reduce the available man power base. One cannot but admit the fact that the nation need adequate manpower to catalyze her development at this period of it history.

2.6      Strategies for tackling examination malpractice

To eliminate examination malpractice in our institution of higher learning and in Nigeria at large, Adoba (1985:) suggested inculcating in the citizens a true sense of hard work and dedication in all spheres of human endeavour since no human endeavour is an Island. If from the early stage in training, children are made to be positively transferred to other aspects of life experience. To cure this societal ill, we need no drug but the solution should come educational institutions and examination bodies and from all of us.

Thus, one sees a society where every student is struggling to make high grades either by hook or crook in order to get employed. On paper qualification and more emphasis on skill and knowledge acquisition by employers of labour will reduce examination malpractice and make students study for skills/knowledge acquisition rather than getting high grade through foul means.

Mallum, (1991), in his contribution also advocated for de-emphasis on paper qualification. This call by Mallum is welcome idea since employment opportunities are no longer based on individual competence but on the acquisition of certificates. Mallum further suggested that all things being equal, if paper qualification is de-emphasized, majority of our students will know that is no gain in obtaining what they do not work for.

Ezeadi (1986:), stated that to reduce the lack of ability to perform well in examination, better qualified lecturers should be recruited. He said that a house with a weak foundation cannot be strong. When students are poorly prepared and them know it, they tend to find ways to close the gap between themselves and others supposedly better prepared.

According to Echezona (1985), it is because some lecturers today do not have anything to offer and when this is the case, the student lose interest in their studies and become afraid of examinations and resort to cheating fraud, as such, examination should be monitored by a central examination body and lecturers should be mixed up for supervising exercise. Economics lecturers should not be allowed to supervise examinations of Economics, rather lecturer from a different department or faculty should be called upon.

Also, the allegation that many lecturers do not always present themselves for examination invigilation when so assigned must be looked into. Such act of negligence of duty must be viewed by member of the academia as academic sacrilege and duly punished with the punishment contained in the miscellaneous offences decree. Invigilators that should invigilate should be many in each hall. So that no breathing space will be given to students to cheat and the arrangement of writing desks and seats should be such that they will be far from each other so that students will not be accorded the opportunity to cheat.

It is common to see students who hire people to sit for an examination for them, in order to checkmate this ugly incident, Apeh (1995) suggested that there is the need to endorse passport photographs of candidates on their examination card, candidate who fail to come with their examination card should be denied entry into examination hall. According to him, this will reduce cases of candidates hiring people to sit for examination. Apeh went further to say that there is now an increased need to tighten the security network of the various professional and other examination bodies. Strict surveillance should be applied at all levels of marking the examination questions. At every stage only experienced hand honest examiners should be involved.

Examination should be done in batches i.e. first year students before second year students. This is to create enough space for the examination as the school (Imo State University) lacks enough classroom blocks. This is to avoid too many students sitting on one desk for examination.

More so, the provision of a guidance and counseling unit will help to curb examination malpractices. Students should be made to known the ills inherent in indulging in examination malpractice and the gains they are likely to derive when they do not indulge in it. The use of guidance/counselors will help students to know the level of experiences themselves.

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHOD

3.1      Introduction

This chapter delves into the design, the population of the study, the area of the study, the sample and sampling techniques, the, method of data collection, description of the instrument used and validity and reliability of the instrument for data analysis.

3.2      Design of the study

                        For the comprehensive analysis of the work, the descriptive survey methods of data analysis was employed.

3.3      Area of study

                        This study was carried out in south-eastern part of the country (Nigeria). There are many institutions of higher learning in this part of the country but for the sake of clarity and detail analysis, this work restricted to Imo State University, Owerri. This is based on the assumption that the behaviour of all students of higher institutions of learning in the South-east region is alike

3.4      Population of the study

                        The population of this study comprises of all regular students in the degree programme of Imo State University Owerri.

However, the estimiated population in these categories (i.e. the entire population of the study) is ten thousand students (10,000).

3.5      Sample and sampling techniques

                        This sample consist of 150 students were randomly selected form the Three Faculties Imo State University, Owerri.

The technique ensured that every student with regard to their gender, year of study and schools (faculty) was given the opportunity of being selected it equally gave room for a good representation of all the students in that academic year the 150 sample were drawn as follows:

 

Faculty of Business Administration              –           50 Students

Faculty of social sciences                                   –           50 students

150 students

3.6      Instrumentation

The researcher designed a questionnaire made up of two sections.

Section A of the questionnaire requires information about the personal characteristics of the students which include the following: Sex, Age, Group, Year of study, school.

Section B was drafted based on the research questions. The questionnaire was designed to elicit responses on the causes of examination malpractices in Imo State University, Owerri.

The questionnaire was made up of Twenty-five questions. A 4-point liker scale of: Strongly Agreed (SA), Agree(A), Disagree(D), Strongly Disagree(SD) was used to determine the respondents of the questions.

3.7      Validation of the instrument

                        The questionnaire administrated by the researcher was vetted by the supervisor and two other lecturers in the department after which the researcher effected necessary corrections.

3.8      Reliability of the instrument

                        The researcher used the re-test method of the interval of fourteen-days to establish the reliability of the instrument before it assumed the final state. The reliability index was 0.86 using the spearman’s Correlation Coefficient(s)

3.9      Data collection procedure

The researcher went to Imo State University, campus and distributed the questionnaire randomly in line with the sample mapped out for the study.

To ensure effective administration, the respondents were expected to adhere to instructions and seek for explanation where necessary.

The questionnaires were collected on the spot.

 

3.10   Method of data analysis

In analysis the raw collected from the respondents, tables and descriptive statistics were used such as simple percentage.

The researcher analyzed the responses and worked out the percentage in relation to the total number of responses, after which comments were made based on the calculated percentage.

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

4.1      Introduction

                        This chapter deals with the presentation and analysis of data and finding which dealt on cause of examination malpractices in tertiary institutions.

Responses to the items in the questionnaire were used to answer the research questions earlier posed. One hundred and fifty questionnaires were administrated for the faculties in Imo State University, Owerri.

All the questionnaires administered were returned indicating 100% return rate. The analysis dates are in tabular form with respect to the research questions stated.

4.2      Research question (1): what are the major causes of students’ involvement in examination malpractices?

            Four questionnaires items are posed for the respondents as follows:

Item 1: Over emphasis on paper qualification is the main reason for examination malpractice.

Item 2: Inadequate preparation of students before the examination, result in examination malpractice.

Item 3: Students who lack pre-requisite admission requirement and who therefore cannot cope with the course try their lack in cheating during examination.

Item 4: students indulge in examination malpractice due to lack of self confidence.

4.3      Table 1:

            Responses to questionnaire items based on research question 1”

Major cause of examination malpractice

 

Question items SA A D SD Total
No % NO %s NO % NO % NO %
Item 1 100 66.6 39 126 11 7.3 150 100
Item 2 142 94.6 8 5.3 150 100
Item 3 41 27.3 67 44.6 23 15.3 19 12.6 150 100
Item 4 47 31.3 81 54 21 14 1 0.6 150 100

 

From the analysis above, 92.6% that over-emphasis on paper qualification is the main reason for examination malpractice while 7.3% disagree. Hundred percent (100%) agreed to the point that students resort to examination malpractices as a result of inadequate preparations

Seventy-two percent (71.9%) agreed that students who lack pre-requisite admission requirement and cannot cope with the course try their luck in cheating while 27.9 disagreed.

Lastly, 85.3% agreed to be view that students indulge in examination malpractice had contrary view.

4.4      Research question 2

            What significance roles are played by the lectures in examination malpractices?

To answer this question, the following questionnaire items are posed for the respondents as follows:

Item 1: Some lecturers aid examination malpractices by recycling the examination question.

Items 2: Some lecturers condone examination malpractices for fear of reprisal by the students, especially if the culprits are cultists.

Items 3: Some lecturers condone examination malpractices in the hall if their relatives of friends are partaking in the examination.

Items 4: Some Students engage in examination malpractices because they are not properly taught by their lecturers before the examinations.

 

4.5      Table 2:

            Response to questionnaire items bearing on research question 2: Significant roles of lecturers in examination malpractices

Question Items SA A D SD Total
No % No % No % No % No %
Item 1 18 12 45 30 54 36 33 22 150 100
Item 2 39 26 51 34 22 22 27 18 150 100
Item 3 23 15.3 62 41.3 40 26.7 25 16.6 150 100
Item 4 33 22 60 40 30 2o 27 18 150 100

Table 2 shows that 42% of the respondents agreed that some lecturers aid examination malpractices by recycling the examination questions, while 58% had contrary view.

Sixty percent (60%) of the respondents agreed that lecturers condone examination malpractices for fear of reprisals by the students especially if the culprits are cultists. Forty percent (40%) disagreed.

Fifty  six percent (56%) of the respondent supports the view that some lecturer condole examination malpractices in the hall if their relatives or friends are partaking in the examination 43.2% have a contrary view.

Sixty-two (62%) percent of the respondent also supports the view that some students engage in examination malpractices because they are not properly taught by their lecturers before the examination. The remaining thirty-eight percent however do not support this view point.

 

 

 

4.6 Research question 3

Does government contribute to examination malpractice? How to answer this question, three questionnaire items are draw as follows:

Item 1: Students engage in examination malpractices because government does not use strict penalties against offenders.

Item 2: Government lay much emphasis on paper qualification i.e. (certificate).

Item 3: Government does not provide well qualified teachers for schools to prepare students adequately for examination.

4.7      Table 3

            Responses to questionnaire items bearing on research question 4:

Does government contribute to examination malpractices?

Question items SA A D SD Total
No % No % No % No % No %
Item 1 34 22.6 30 20 36 24 50 33.3 150 100
Item 2 33 22 72 48 27 18 18 18 150 100
Item 3 27 18 51 34 30 20 42 28 150 100

 

The data collected and represented in the above table shoe that almost forty-three percent (42.6%) of the respondents agreed that some students engage in examination malpractices because Government does not use strict penalties against offenders. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents object to this opinion. Seven percent (70%) of the sample population agrees that students engage in examination malpractices because the Government tends to attach too much emphasis on paper qualification. The remaining thirty percent (30%) are not in support of this opinion.

More so, fifty-two percent (52%) of the sample population opinion that examination on malpractices remains on the increase, as a result of Government failure to provide well qualified tutors for schools to prepare students adequately for examination. The remaining forty-eight percent have a contrary view.

4.8      Research question 4

            How do we reduce examination malpractices in our institutions?

To answer this question three questionnaire items are draw as follows:

Item 1: De-emphasizing paper qualification

Item 2: Issuing strict penalties against offenders

Item 3: Recruitment of trained and qualified teachers will help to reduce examination malpractice.

4.9     Table 4:

            Responses to questionnaire items bearing on research question 5:

How do we reduce examination malpractice in our institutions?

Question Items  

SA

 

A

 

D

 

SD

 

T150otal

No % No % No % No % No %
Item 1 45 30 81 54 15 10 9 6 150 100
Item 2 57 38 69 46 18 12 6 4 150 100
Item 3 27 18 51 34 54 36 18 12 150 100

 

From the table above, it is discovered that eighty-four percent (84%) of the respondents agreed that examination malpractices can be reduced by government and corporate bodies reducing the emphasis they lay on paper qualification. The remaining sixteen percent of the sample population object to these opinion.

The same table further shows that eighty-four percent (84%) of the respondent support the view go along way in curbing the problem of examination malpractices. The remaining sixteen percent of the sample population object to these opinion.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of the sample population agreed that examination malpractices can be reduced by recruiting trained and qualified tutors. However, the remaining forty-eight percent of the sample population object to this opinion.

 

 

4.10 Research question 5:

           What are the effects of examination malpractices on the standard of educations in Nigeria?

The following questionnaire items are draw from this question to enable the researchers answer this question.

4.11 Tablet 5

           Responses to questionnaire items bearing on research VI:

What are the effects of examination malpractices on the standard of Education in Nigeria?

Question Items  

SA

 

A

 

D

 

SD

 

Total

No % No % No % No % No %
Item 1 72 48 66 44 9 6 3 2 150 100

 

From the table above, ninety-two percent (92%) of the respondent population support the view that the major effect of examination malpractices on the standard of Education in Nigeria is the production of half baked/unqualified graduates. The remaining eighty percent of the sample population, however, objects to this opinion.

4.12 Summary of findings

                       From the fore going, the following findings were discovered.

  1. Lecturers condone examination malpractice in the hall if their relation or friends are involved.
  2. Students engage in examination malpractice because they were not properly taught before the examination.
  3. Lecturers condone malpractice for fear of reprisal by students especially cultist.
  4. Some parent encourages lecturers by giving them money to help their children during or after the examination.
  5. Most students engage in examination malpractice to win societal honour that goes with success.
  6. Inadequate preparation of students before the examination makes them to involve in examination malpractices.
  7. Inability of Government to use strict penalties against offenders does not encourage examination malpractices.
  8. The inability of Government to provide necessary materials for school contributes to examination malpractices in institutions of higher learning.
  9. Examination malpractice remains on the increase because much emphasis is placed on paper qualification.
  10. Government does not employed well qualified lecturers to prepare students adequately for examination.
  11. The problem of examination malpractices can be reduced by rewarding schools for good examination conduct
  12. Reducing the unnecessary emphasis laid on paper qualification will go a long way in check-making examination malpractices.
  13. Examination fraud can be checked/reduced by launching strict penalties against offenders
  14. Examination malpractice has led to lack of confidence in our examination system.
  15. Examination malpractice results in the production of half-baked graduates. A problem affecting every sector of the economic.

 

 

 

CHAPTER FIVE

   DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION

                       AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Introduction

This chapter discusses the results of the study based on the analyzed data presented in chapter FOUR.

Also discussed in this chapter are summary of the entire work, recommendations, suggestions for further study as well the limitations of the study.

 

 

  • Discussion on findings

Research questions provide the base upon which the discussion of the finding are made. From the results of the investigation, it is discovered that some students get involved in examination malpractice because of the societal honour that goes with success. Most students went to achieved success while they are not adequately prepared for the examination.

In the words of Okeke (1982), “Our education system is examination-oriented and as such schools with poor and inadequate teachers and equipment will score lower grade than school with better staff and equipment.

To correct this imbalance, students involve in examination malpractices. However, possession of paper qualification does not necessary mean that someone is educated particularly if the certificate had been forged or the examination rigged. Thus the views hold about education is one of the reasons why students struggle and are well prepared to do anything including all sorts of examination malpractices technique to pass examinations in a do or die way.

The finding on the research question II (concerning the roles played by lecturers in examination malpractices) shows that lecturers play significant roles in examination malpractice in Nigeria.

In examination situation, some lecturers go extra miles to help their friends and relatives, even inside the examination hall. It was also discovered that some lecturers do not teach very well to prepare students for examination while some condone examination malpractice for fear of reprisal.

According to Rowland (1993), the recurring incident of unnecessary incessant industrial action and frequent closure of higher institutions deprived undergraduates the opportunities to diligent studies and adequate preparation for examination. Supporting the view, Igwe (1990), states that “examination malpractices is as a result of Nigeria attitude of minimum input for maximum gain.”

The craze of many teachers to get rich over night makes them to give out examination papers to prospective candidates on order to get rich.

From the results of the investigation on research question (III) (Do Government contribute to examination malpractices) it discovered that Government contributes to examination malpractices. Teaching materials and facilities, qualified lecturers are not adequately provided for schools. This explains why Oputa (2003), said that “If Government pay much attention to maintaining schools as it did to maintaining the toilets of the National Assembly, people will not have much complain about.

The findings on research question (IV) (How can examination malpractice be reduced) revealed that some of the measures to be adopted in order to reduce examination malpractices in Nigeria. The measure suggested by the researcher includes; rewarding school for good examination conduct, de-emphasizing paper qualification and issuing strict penalties against offenders.

According to Adoba (1958) says “To correct this ugly situation, there is need to inculcate in the citizens a true sense of hard work and dedication in all spheres of human endeavour”. To him if a child is made to realize the importance of hard work, there is the tendency that this will be transferred to other aspect of life.

Justice S.U. Sogbefun, suggested tightening loopholes in the present system of examination. That is, using alternative methods and reducing 100% weight placed on examination.

From the result of the investigation on research question (V) (What are the effects of examination malpractice on the standard of education in Nigeria) it was discovered that there are a lot of notable effects of examination malpractices on the standard of education in Nigeria. These are massive drop out, increase in crime waves in our institutions of higher learning, lack of confidence in our examination system and production of half-baked/unqualified graduates.

According to Madubuike(1980) “Education malpractices bring distortion in our education and men power development.” When people are employed based on their certificates which are gotten through cheating, they may not perform effectively.

Ezimorah(1991) says that a particular sin could give rise to chains of similar sins. This means that examination malpractice of Nigerian students who went to study abroad. In the same way Otorunde expressed that our school and societies are transforming our students into a generation of sociological delinquency. That is, making students feel that there is nothing wrong in cheating.

  • Summary

The study is on the causes of examination malpractices in Nigeria Universities, with particular reference to Imo State University, Owerri.

The target of the study is to investigate the likely causes of examination malpractice and its effects on standard of education in tertiary institutions.

The researcher made use of the following research questions.

  1. What are the major causes of student’s involvement in examination malpractices?
  2. What significant roles are played by the lecturers in examination malpractices?
  3. Do Government contribute to examination malpractice?
  4. How can examination malpractice be reduces?
  5. What are the effects of examination malpractices on the standard of education in Nigeria?

In the course of this research, one hundred and fifty students

(150) were selected from various faculties in Imo State University, Owerri.

The results of the finding revealed that the lecturers, parents, students and even Government played significant roles in examination malpractices.

Some lecturers give questions to the students before the examination. Some fail to prepare the students well for examination while some collect money and award marks.

Parents allow their intelligent wards to write examination for the less intelligent ones. Some parents give bribe to lecturers (through their children or wards) while most do not provide relevant reading materials.

On the part of the students, the study revealed that students do not read very well for examination, they, therefore, go into the halls with answers tucked into different parts of their body, some write on desk, currency note, some even store answer in their calculation or handset.

The result also show that government do not employ qualify staff, provide necessary facilities and much emphasis is placed on paper qualification and adequate penalties are not provided for offenders.

To solve these problems, the researcher offered a number of suggestions and it is hoped that if strictly followed, examination malpractices will be a thing of the past in our schools.

  • Conclusion

Based on the findings, the study has revealed the cause and effects of examination malpractices in tertiary institutions.

The research found out that the followings contribution to examination malpractices; lecturers, parents, students and Government.

Finally, examination malpractices have greater effects on academic achievement of students.

 

  • Recommendations

On the basic of the findings, the following recommendations are given by the researcher:

  • Lecturers found encouraging or taking part in examination malpractices should be demoted and re-assigned where he will not have access to examination materials.
  • There should be effective teaching by the lecturers to improve the standard of education.
  • More qualified lecturers should be employed and assigned courses according to their area of specialization.
  • Parents should give/provide necessary school materials and avoid giving money to officials who are handing examinations.
  • Any student caught in examination malpractices should be expelled and denied admission to another school in Nigeria.
  • There should be good counseling unit in secondary schools where students will be counseled adequately on course to study.
  • Government should provide necessary school facilities, de-emphasizing paper qualification and ensure strict penalties for offenders.
  • Government should reward schools for good examination conduct.
  • Government should organize seminars/workshops to enlighten people on the effects of examination malpractices.

 

 

                                  REFERENCES

Adoba, P. (1995). The Challenges of examination Malpractices

Owerri. Maximal book publishers Ltd.

 

Aka, S. M (1976) Comprehensive and essay writing Lagos:

Omotage Standard press.

 

Akinpelu, J. A. (1987). An introduction to philosophy of education

London: Macmillan press.

Amadi, R. N. (1996). Principle and method of teaching and learning.

Owerri: Cajec publications.

 

Ani, C. I. (1996). A lecturer on problems and prospects on education.

Unpublished, Enugu State University of Science and Technology.

 

Apeh, U. (1995, November 20). Solution towards examination

malpractice. News Watch, P.22.

Azih, C. E. (1995, May 11). The problems of examination malpractice.

Daily star, P. 15-16

 

Emenogu, B. C. (1995). Educational assessment (concept and application).

Benin: Barloz publishers, Inc.

Onah, J. (2001, November 9). Effects of examination Malpractices on

Nigeria’s educational system: Management service. Daily

Champion, P. 19.

 

Uchegulam, N. P. K. (in press). Perpetrators of examination malpractice.

Journal of Psychological studies.

Uchegulam, N. P. K. (in press). Perpetrators of examination malpractice.

Journal of Psychological studies.

 

 

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