About a month ago, Bayero University, Kano, expelled 27 students and rusticated eight others for alleged examination malpractice.
In October 2021 the Federal University, Kashere, Gombe state expelled and rusticated 24 students from the institution for their involvement in examination malpractice and forgery in violation of the University’s laws, which they swore to follow upon admission.
No fewer than 22 students of the Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State were rusticated following their involvement in examination malpractices, in 2020.
This list is not exhaustive and has focused on universities for the simple reason that the objective is to show how for basic internal examinations in Nigerian higher schools of learning, students engage in malpractice to pass. It is also expected that students at this level are adults with a clear sense of responsibility. They will graduate, enter the labour market and will be expected to show excellence in both character and learning.
But these acts of examination malpractice destroy both the quality of learning and character. It degrades educational quality. This is because students who cheat in school receive high grades, which affects the school’s overall performance.
Nigerian certificates are losing credibility. This is because so many people have cheated and received good grades when they did not deserve them. Honest students’ morale suffers as a result due to the fact that they believe they are working hard while others are cheating and getting good grades.
The economy is suffering. This is because of the large amount of money that is wasted on examination malpractice. It encourages corruption. This is because those who assist students in cheating receive bribes from them.
It has implications for Nigeria’s future. This is because many of our leaders were once cheaters, and if this trend continues, Nigeria will lack honest and hardworking leaders in the future.
Many who engage in examination malpractice fail to understand what the role of evaluation and examination is in an educational process or simply ignore it.
Examination malpractice steals a society’s soul because it destroys the purpose of education, which is excellence in both learning and character formation. Education is the soul of any human society as it passes from generation to generation, to paraphrase Gilbert Keith Chesterton, an English writer.
What is an examination for?
An examination is a type of educational activity. It can help students see the material from a different angle. It may also give students feedback that they can use to improve their understanding. Identifying and correcting flaws.
Returning to a programme’s learning objectives is often the most direct way to answer this question. Action verbs abound in strong learning objectives. Students should be able to solve equations, write essays, and explain key concepts, for example. These action-centred activities imply that students will demonstrate active learning by creating and submitting original work at the end of a programme.
All exams are part of students’ growth; they are necessary for knowledge and capability testing. Exams do not imply instilling a sense of depression in students. Exams are designed to instil in students a sense of responsibility to remember concepts and present them in the most valuable way possible.
Testing is a general evolution for students to demonstrate that they understand the topic or subject!? Exams help students improve their overall personality, memory, and revision skills.
In most schools or colleges, students take oral and written exams. They have the incorrect belief that exams are unnecessary, but if they try to think in a detailed positive manner, they will see the benefits of exams.
Examination malpractice, as the name implies, is any type of cheating or wrongdoing committed during an examination. Cheating on exams, copying during exams, using unfair methods to pass exams, and impersonation are all examples.
Exam malpractice is a serious issue in Nigeria. According to a West African Examination Council (WAEC) study, approximately 60 per cent of students who sit for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) each year engage in some form of examination malpractice.
Causes of and solutions to examination malpractice
Fear of failure is most likely the most common reason for students engaging in examination malpractice. They are so afraid of failing that they would rather cheat than risk not passing. Next on this list of causes is ignorance. Some students are unaware that cheating is illegal. They believe it is simply a means of advancement.
Parental and educational pressure compounded the fear of failure and ignorance. In some cases, parents and teachers place so much pressure on students to succeed that they resort to cheating to cope. And when a student notices that he or she is receiving poor grades, he or she may feel tempted to cheat in order to improve their grades.
A major cause of examination malpractice is laziness. Some students are simply too lazy to do their own work and would rather cheat than study for a test. Peer pressure is a factor that cannot be ignored. Friends can have a significant impact on students. If your friends are cheating, you are more likely to do so as well.
However, some cheat for money. Some students are paid to cheat on exams. But we must also recognise poor parental guidance. Some parents do not provide adequate guidance to their children. As a result, the kids are left to fend for themselves and make their own choices, which can lead to cheating.
There is no single silver bullet solution to examination malpractice in Nigeria. To address the root causes of the problem, all stakeholders must work together to make a concerted and sustained effort.
We must begin by changing the way we think about exams; we must shift our focus away from exams and toward the quality of education our students are receiving; we must raise the bar for our students and prepare them for a future that does not revolve around exams; and we must invest in our students and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.