Exam Irregularities in Nigerian Schools
Conventionally, examinations are regarded as a method of assessment of students who have used one level of education or another at the end of a term, term or academics year.
However, among other disturbing developments neco runs how the industry is experiencing in the country nowadays, the incidence of examination malpractices in the Nigerian educational system is a cardinal one that is fast assuming a straight of national and international embarrassment and dangerous dimension. It is a damaging outbreak, which if not cured soon, may destroy the nation’s all-important education sector.
Examination malpractices are generally termed wrongdoings before, during or after examinations. And, without mincing words, these are having telling, unwanted side effects on the nation’s quality of education, just as many school leavers and graduates still cannot defend their certificates. As sinister as this endemic trend may appear, urgent measures need to be acquired for the cankerworm not to destroy the nation’s future completely before long: it’s too critical to be neglected. And, this is really, another cogent reason Nigeria needs moral renaissance and value regeneration in all tasks of its national life.
How does one describe what an examination malpractice is? According to Nwana (2000), examination malpractice is termed the “massive and freakish abuse of rules and regulations pertaining to internal and public examinations, beginning from the setting of such examinations through the taking of the examinations, their marking and grading, to the release of the results and the issuance of certificates. inch
In a similar train of thought, an academics has attempted another description of this unbridled phenomenon as “the act of omission or commission intended to manufacture a student pass examination without relying absolutely on his/her independent ability or resources. inch
Certain research findings, ideas, instructional and informed articles of educationalists, academics, and other top stakeholders in this special sector of the nation’s economy, however, have indicated that there had been one form of examination malpractice or the other before since in the early 1970s when “mass cheating was initially perpetrated in WAEC” (West African-american Examinations Council).
Perhaps, this realisation jolted the examination body at the legitimate school level to examine critically, various manifestations and extent of this retrogressive pattern. It apparently, classified the different forms of examination malpractice as including developing foreign materials to quiz halls, infrequent activities inside and outside examination halls, collusion, impersonation, seapage, mass cheating and insult/assault on supervisors during assessments.
Other styles of quiz malpractices identified by WAEC include assistance of candidates by invigilators to answer or have hint as to to difficult concepts, while some invigilators also go to the extent of answering some parts of the question for candidates, aside from other styles as “giraffing, contraband, topic, super print, escort, missiles, and pregnant biros. inch
Nonetheless, what has happened to the your survival of the country’s education system from this time till this present day? Unfortunately, in the continued 21st Century, examination malpractices of varying sorts, forms and manifestations, incontrovertibly, have worsened and become a national problem. The unbecoming tendency voraciously, continues to eat deep into the social fabric, from primary schools to tertiary institutions of learning across the Nigerian Federation. It is no wonder then, that the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), of recent, passionately asked the National Assembly to declare a situation of emergency in the education sector so as to consciously revamp the lost honor of the once growing industry.
While many stakeholders in the sector yet, believe that the prevalent malaise the education sector is not only perpetrated by the students alone, but also with the active connivance of other stakeholders, including teachers, security agents, quiz invigilators, printers, supervisors, etcetera, quiz malpractices have equally been described by some in the know of the pervasiveness of the disheartening trend as “perennial and institutionalised multibillion Naira business”, on which some depraved individuals, groups and institutions feed fat in the country nowadays.
But then, a pertinent question any honest-minded Nigerians ought to ask themselves at this juncture is: How did Nigeria get to this decadent state in its education industry? Just as some major stakeholders and experts severally, have expressed bona fide concerns about the continual damage continual quiz malpractices are wreaking on the nation, a number of factors have been advanced for this ugly development.
Among other reasons adduced for the astronomical increase in quiz malpractices in recent years are that in some cases, “questions are not related to the syllabus”, and consequently, examination malpractices are encouraged. It’s also, been supposed that subject syllabuses are crammed and difficult for quiz candidates, so they often times find it difficult to cope. But, are these tenable excuses for false candidates and their depraved collaborators to engage in quiz irregularities? It’s simply indefensible for candidates to resort to quiz irregularities. It’s believed that with determined, conscious efforts at succeeding in a worthwhile endeavour, including examinations, “where there is a will, there is a way. inch
Many students’ rising lack of importance and preparedness to try to get their future, as many believe that most enrollees these days are “not ready to learn”. For instance, it’s been observed that in most public schools in particular, students are seen roaming the streets, while some seen with home video cassettes and compact devices (CDs/DVDs) and the like playing football during school hours.
Similarly, in a desperate attempt at freezing parents financially, there have been established instances in which quiz live questions are hurriedly relieved by school managements in collusion with hired quiz writers, impersonators oftentimes in “private schools’ principals’ offices” in order to please the parents to the detriment of their children’s future prospect. And, these key school reps are expected to be role models, paragons of forthrightness, reliability, and integrity to these children, aren’t they?
It’s been established that this anomaly is usually perpetrated simultaneously, as students write theirs in quiz halls, after which copies of such quiz solutions are made and distributed to their students for mass copying, thereby turning their schools into sanctuaries of quiz malpractices at worst. Reports say examiners are, indeed, getting wiser in tracking such anomalies in quiz answer scripts in recent times.
Certain concerned educationists, among others reasons, equally, have hinged the widespread quiz malpractices at different levels of education in the Nigerian system to sloppy increased exposure of paper qualifications, low moral standards in schools, ‘419’ predicament, candidates’ lack of confidence in themselves, fear of failure due to insufficient treatments, outright laziness, weak societal value system resulting in all sorts of get-rich-quick arrangements, gradual loss of values such as industry and enterprise in achieving any sustainable personal success as well poor professional standards and inappropriate curricular for training of teachers.
It’s thus, no wonder that many parents and parents who are needs to understand the gimmicks of certain schools in “cooking” excellent results for their children and wards in order to please them. As a result of this widespread evil practice, many parents are becoming disillusioned by the day.
But, where have all these left the nation’s educational system in recent times? The significances on the stakeholders in particular and the Nigerian society in general have been weighty and multifarious. One is the entrenched thinking that cheating in examinations pays, against the track record of the fact that societal values are fast on the decline.
However, many of these dodgy stakeholders who hitherto had been making much money from the irregularities, desperately, eventually find it harder and more tasking than ever to disabuse the minds of these children, that examination frauds do not pay and will not take them far in life.
Quiz irregularities, again, have instigated groundswell of criticisms from unusual groups over the credibility of certificates award to school leavers and graduates from our institutions of higher learning. Stark incompetence, lack of basic employable and communication skills, weak national capacity-building, robot-like official file corruption in different sectors of the economy have become the obvious characteristics of the existing system.
A soul-searching question to ask all the stakeholders is this: Is it surprising whatsoever that many parents and parents, irrespective of their financial capability, now seek admissions for their children and wards into tertiary institutions, whether registered or not, in neighbouring African-american countries as Benin Republic, Ghana and South Africa, not to mention those leaving Nigeria for the Americas, Europe and Asia to acquire education? Checks have revealed that a lot of them, including the nation’s command often have lost confidence in the beleaguered education sector.
People who are still sceptical about the deepening adverse effects of quiz malpractices in Nigerian schools, colleges and institutes need to be human capital recruitment professionals, AN HOUR experts and corporate trainers when they relate their frustrations over terrible experiences they do have with many job applicants’ lack of employable cum simple communication skills, when faced with the position of selecting suitable hands from scores of job applicants for positions in both public and private sector establishments nationally.
Thus, “chances are that the average graduate we get today will not fit into any job because some of them cannot speak Basic English; some cannot write a simple letter. The quality is so bad that you spend an income training them without getting any result, because some things that should have happened earlier in their lives did not happen, Mrs. Ijeoma Rita Obu, a human capital development professional and CEO of Clement Ashley Consulting, once lamented in her chat with BusinessDay.
Many believe Nigeria cannot afford to overlook the obvious worsening, damaging effects of examination malpractices heartlessly crushing the soul of the education industry. Failure to treat this growing negative wander sure would jeopardise any genuine efforts being intensified towards realising the needed capacity-building for the accomplishment of Vision 20-2020 economic objective.
Contrary to an express suggestion by the National Assembly that the Nigerian Universities should stop the conduct of post-Universities Matriculation Examinations (post-UME) tests being administered by these institutions, it is instructional that the concerned authorities need to improve on the internal elements of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and operations of related quiz bodies in Nigeria. The lawmakers, nonetheless, need to realise that if such inadequacies, including examination malpractices and candidates’ poor treatments for the challenges of tertiary education had not been identified by these academics in the nation’s Ivory System earlier, the idea of post-UME would not have been introduced in the first place. One believes these institutions, either directly or indirectly, ought to be in involved in determining human eye candidates to be said for various academics programmes.
Therefore, to bring back the fortune of the nation’s education industry, proper planning, efficient administration, supervision, adequate funding for the provision of teaching and learning facilities, and motivation of teachers, instructors, and other key stakeholders via timely payments of their salaries, commissions, and stipends are usually consequential, since the success of any educational system largely, depends on these measures.
Though JAMB, WAEC, National Examinations Local authority or council (NECO), National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) and National Teachers Institute (NTI), among others are apparently making efforts at blacklisting and derecognising some schools and quiz zones over confirmed irregularities for certain periods of time, appropriate governmental authorities also, must complement their efforts by applying diligently, the provision of Examination Malpractice Act thirty-three of 1999, stipulating punishment ranging from an excellent of N50, 000 to N100, 000 and imprisonment for a term of 3-4 years with or without option of fine, in order to serve as a deterrent to other internal and external examination fraudsters who yearly feed fat on these illegalities.
Save for the rising low moral standards in many schools, colleges and other institutions of learning these days, aside from parents and other upright individuals in the society, teachers and instructors naturally, should serve as role models to today’s students but tomorrow’s leaders. Some morally bankrupt teachers, instructors, school principals and proprietors/proprietresses who have continued to connive with hired examination writers to turn their schools into havens for quiz malpractices, while misleading many parents with baked ‘fantastic’ examination results of their children and wards, should desist from this shameful act. Any of them caught in the act should be prosecuted by the Independent Dodgy Practices and other Related Offences commission (ICPC). What such ones do is simply economic sabotage, as they are destroying the nation’s future today.
Government at all levels, as a matter of priority, should stop paying lip-service to the provision of required teaching and learning facilities in the schools, timely payment of staff salaries and edge benefits in order to decrease file corruption in the nation’s educational system. The practice in which Government officials and political figures mindlessly, send their children and wards abroad on the bills of tax payers’ money for better scholarship, just as Nigeria’s school system rots away under the deadweight of preventable problems will not assistance in restoring confidence in the system.
Therefore, all stakeholders within the nation’s educational system should uphold the sanctity of examinations, so that quality may be restored to the failing system. Everyone is required to be committed to change and participate in this necessary change in which moral instruction, self-discipline could be employed to manage examination malpractices in Nigerian schools. Quality education remains an amazing instrument for sustainable national development.