Conventionally, Exam inations are regarded as a method of assessment of students who have gone through one level of education or another at the end of a term, semester or instructional year.
However, among other disturbing developments which the industry is experiencing in the country nowadays, the incidence of Exam ination malpractices in the Nigerian educational system is a cardinal one that is fast assuming a level of national and international embarrassment and jamb runs 2021 dangerous dimension. It is a damaging plague, which if not cured soon, may destroy the nation’s all-important education sector.
Exam ination malpractices are generally described as wrongdoings before, during or after Exam inations. And, without mincing words, these are having telling, uncomfortable side effects on the state’s quality of education, just as many school leavers and graduates can no longer defend their certificates. As threatening as this endemic trend can take place, urgent measures need to be implemented for the cankerworm not to destroy the nation’s future completely in a little while: it’s too critical to be neglected. And, this is certainly, another cogent reason Nigeria needs meaning renaissance and value regeneration in all issues with its national life.
How does one describe what an Exam ination malpractice is? According to Nwana (2000), Exam ination malpractice is described as the “massive and unprecedented abuse of rules and regulations pertaining to internal and public Exam inations, beginning from the setting of such Exam inations through the taking of the Exam inations, their marking and grading, to the release of the results and the issuance of certificates. “
In a similar vein, an instructional has used another description of this unbridled phenomenon as “the act of omission or commission intended to generate a student pass Exam ination without counting absolutely on his/her independent ability or resources. “
Certain research findings, results, instructive and informed submissions of educationalists, academics, and other top stakeholders in this special sector of the state’s economy, however, have indicated that there had been one form of Exam ination malpractice or the other before since in the early 1970s when “mass cheating was first perpetrated in WAEC” (West African Exam inations Council).
Perhaps, this realisation jolted the Exam ination body at the second school level to Exam ine critically, various manifestations and extent of this retrogressive tendency. It reportedly, categorised the different forms of Exam ination malpractice as including attracting foreign materials to Exam halls, unpredictable activities inside and outside Exam ination halls, collusion, impersonation, leakage, mass cheating and insult/assault on supervisors during Exam s.
Other forms of Exam malpractices identified by WAEC include assistance of candidates by invigilators to answer or have clue to difficult concepts, while some invigilators also go to the extent of answering some parts of the question for candidates, aside from other forms as “giraffing, contraband, bullet, super print, escort, missiles, and pregnant biros. “
Nonetheless, what has happened to the emergency of the place’s education system from that period till this day? Unfortunately, in the continued 21st Century, Exam ination malpractices of varying sorts, forms and manifestations, incontrovertibly, have worsened and be accepted as a national problem. The unbecoming tendency voraciously, continues to eat deep into the social fabric, right 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 state of emergency in the education sector so as to consciously renovation the lost glory of the once booming 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, Exam invigilators, printers, supervisors, and the like, Exam malpractices have equally been described by some in the know of the pervasiveness of the frustrating trend as “perennial and institutionalised multibillion Naira business”, on which some depraved individuals, groups and institutions feed fat in the country as of now.
But then, a pertinent question any honest-minded Nigerians ought to ask themselves at the juncture is: How did Nigeria get to this decadent state in its education industry? Just as some major stakeholders and experts severally, have expressed genuine concerns about the continual damage continual Exam 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 Exam malpractices in recent years are that in certain cases, “questions are not related to the syllabus”, and consequently, Exam ination malpractices are encouraged. It’s also, been alleged that subject syllabuses are overloaded and difficult for Exam candidates, so often times battle to cope. But, are these tenable excuses for suspicious candidates and their depraved collaborators to engage in Exam irregularities? It’s simply indefensible for candidates to resort to Exam irregularities. It’s believed that with determined, conscious efforts at coming in any worthwhile try, including Exam inations, “where there is a will, there is a way. “
Many students’ rising lack of seriousness and preparedness to battle their future, as many believe that most pupils 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 disks (CDs/DVDs) while others playing football during school hours.