Stop exam malpractices now (1)
By Gbenga Kayode
Monday, April 18, 2011
Examinations are a method of assessment of students who have gone through one level of education at the end of a period of time.
However, among other disturbing developments which the education sector is experiencing in the country, the incidence of examination malpractices is a cardinal one that is fast assuming national embarrassment. It is a damaging epidemic, which if not cured soon, may destroy the nation?s all-important sector.
Examination frauds are generally described as wrongdoings. And, without mincing words, these are having negative effects on standard just as many school leavers and graduates can no longer defend their certificates. As sinister as this endemic trend may appear, urgent measures must be adopted for the cankerworm not to destroy the nation?s future completely before too long: it?s too critical to be neglected. And, this is certainly, another cogent reason Nigeria needs moral renaissance and value regeneration in all aspects of its national life.
What is examination malpractice? According to Nwana (2000), examination fraud is described as the ?massive and unprecedented 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.? Also, an academic has attempted another description of this unbridled phenomenon as ?the act of omission or commission intended to make a student pass examination without relying absolutely on his/her independent ability or resources.?
Certain research findings, conclusions, instructive and informed submissions of educationalists, academics, and other top stakeholders in this special sector of the economy, however, have indicated that examination malpractice existed since in the early 1970s when ?mass cheating was first perpetrated in WAEC? (West African Examinations Council).
Perhaps, this realisation jolted the examination body at the secondary school level to examine critically, various manifestations and extent of this retrogressive inclination. It reportedly, categorised the different forms of examination malpractice as including bringing in foreign materials to exam halls, irregular activities inside and outside examination halls, collusion, impersonation, leakage, mass cheating and insult/assault on supervisors during exams.
Other forms of exam malpractices identified by WAEC include assistance of candidates by invigilators to answer or have clues 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 survival of the country?s education system from that time till this day? Unfortunately, examination malpractices of various dimensions have worsened and become a national problem. The unbecoming tendency voraciously, continues to eat deep into the social fabric, right from primary schools to higher. It is no wonder then, that the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), has asked the National Assembly to declare a state of emergency in the education sector to consciously revamp the lost glory of the once thriving 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 disheartening trend as ?perennial and institutionalised multibillion Naira business?, on which some depraved individuals, groups and institutions feed fat in the country as of now.
? Kayode is CEO, Wordkraft Communications Limited, Lagos.