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Examination malpractice is no more news in our country. Students believe that their success is not possible without engaging in this act. This practice is found everywhere and in all institutions. Primary school pupils now look over their friend’s shoulders to copy during examination. Secondary and Tertiary school students are experts in this area. There is always a means to cheat devised by student. The different forms of illegal actions during examination include bringing in micro chips into exam halls, writing answers on body parts, impersonation, asking friends for answers, extending the length of the neck to spy other’s work, teachers teaching students in exam halls, principals or proprietors bribing exam bodies to boost student’s grades.
‘Mal is a Latin word ‘ Male’ which means bad. Malpractice means bad practice. So, examination malpractice(s) is/are bad practice(s) done or carried out before, during and after the examination period. It could be in form of cheating in exam halls, illegal assistance contrary to the exam bodies given to students during examination in order to make good grades.
To start with, let us ask ourselves this question: Is examination malpractice godly? Is it according to the law and constitution of this nation? To me, it is ungodly and a bad act. According to the Constitution, anybody caught and found guilty of this offence will be sentenced 21 years imprisonment. Definitely, the law does not support this bad practice.
Who are the people found in this ugly act? Well, as we all know that this nation is corrupt, students, some teachers, government, and parents are involved in exam malpractices.
Students no longer prepare for exams. Gone are the days when students burn the midnight candles. Technology has affected student’s level of preparation. Much time is spent on phones, watching television, football match, games and other forms of activities while lesser time is spent reading. Examination halls can be likened to a market place. Serious and godly students who do not engage in this act are looked down on and hated by other students. Morality and discipline are no longer found in schools. Most of them are established for profit purposes. Owners of these schools go to any length to aid their students’ success. They close their eyes to all forms of exam malpractices and even support the act. These are done to bring more people in the school, retain the number of their students since most people like taking short routes to success.
There are many reasons why students engage in exam malpractice. Students are now lazy to read and don’t study hard for exams. They want their output to be greater than their inputs. Most of them spend their time on the Internet, television, home videos, filming centers, laptops and all forms of social activities. They so much depend on exam malpractice for success. Examination halls are not conducive for examination; the sitting arrangements give room for cheating. Also many students do not have confidence in themselves to succeed without cheating; they have this mentality that they are not good enough or are not in the category of people that can have good grades without cheating. Some students are affected by peer pressure. They cheat because their friends do, some even go as far as luring their friends into the act.
Teachers and lecturers’ mode of teaching sometimes encourage students to cheat. Most of them are lazy and unqualified to be called teachers; some do not cover the syllabus while others do not even come to classes at all. Questions are set on topics that are not taught in class. In order to cover up the lapses, they sell answers to questions and even lure the female students to sleep with them. Many of them organize make-up classes few days before the day of examination, students have can’t catch up often result to cheating. It is no more a big deal finding Principals and Proprietors/Proprietresses also engaged in this act, they believe they are helping the students, not knowing that Examination malpractice is to the students’ detriment. All this has hardened the hearts of the students since the leaders are not setting good examples for their students.
Parents and guardians sometimes also encourage this deadly act, most of them help their wards by paying exorbitant money to teachers, schools and pay the shameless mercenaries to sit for their children’s examination. They also give their children money to buy the common ‘odu’ or ‘orijo’ as also known as microchips, most of them do not know the importance of education. Children run errands for their parents and help to make ends meet by hawking wares after school, this make them not to have time to study. Many have poor academic performances because they do not concentrate and even can sleep off in class during lectures.
Lack of financial support from parents is another factor, this usually force students to engage in weekend or per time jobs while the lazy females may engage in prostitution to make a living. Many students can not afford to buy textbooks and other study materials. Such students later result in examination malpractice because they are ill prepared
Examiners and supervisors collect bribes from students, teachers, school authorities and impersonators. They close their eyes to all practices going on in exam halls. Some give out questions before the exam days and answers are dictated to students in exam halls. Preferential treatment is given to the children of the rich and wealthy. Even the Governments now pay little or no attention to the education sector. Infrastructures, laboratories, educational materials that help in learning are now outdated. Teachers are poorly treated which in turn affects their attitude towards teaching. All these push students to look for other means to succeed.
Examination malpractice is reducing the educational standard in the country. Brilliant students are not gaining admission into tertiary institutions because they are being alienated by those with high marks which may be from cheating. Many students drop out of schools as a result of their inability to cope. Some continue the act and are being expelled when caught. Many do not go home after expulsion and they graduate into advanced crime. Students are discouraged to read. This has brought about backwardness and lack of focus. Faithful students and those from humble background are deprived of education. Morality is now a thing of the past. Exam malpractice is the talk of the town. Parents, teachers and students now boast of the negative means used to achieve success. Such students are now faced with dilemma when searching for employment. What is the essence of a good result that you cannot be proud of? Many results cannot be defended and are now useless. Graduates with good results flop in interviews. Their results and certificates contradict their performances during job interviews.
Should we not face this challenge? Should we not stop this act? Of course we should. An adage says “A stitch in time saves nine”. The war against examination malpractice should start from the apex; this is because some of the officials of examination bodies do not have the fear of God since they are baited by money; for the love of money is the root of all evil. To stop this, examination bodies should take necessary steps to prevent the exposure of examinations questions before the examination day.
Furthermore, schools must stop this act. Teachers should cultivate the habit of teaching their students and helping them during exam. They are to discourage students from participating in this evil act. They also have the right to report the mercenaries and corrupt invigilators to the police. The School Boards should also organize symposia to enlighten the stakeholders in education and parents on the dangers of examination malpractice. This will improve the integrity of this nation.
‘Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will never depart from it’. Children should be taught the word of God. They should also know that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Our parents and religious leaders should never hide the true word of God. We must hit the nail on the head. Governments should improve the standard of education ( Read about the standard of Nigerian educational system here). Teachers should be motivated to teach well and any corrupt or lazy ones should be disciplined. Exam halls should be built and renovated. Good sitting arrangements should be in place during exam. The environment must be conducive in order to curb these acts.
In conclusion, all hands must be on deck to combat this social menace. If the examination bodies, teachers, schools, parents, religious leaders and the government can be united, there is an assurance in the expulsion of this examination malpractice.
You can also read an interesting article about funny things students do during examination period here
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