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Examination Malpractice And Solution (using The Nigerian University As A Model) by DamiBukola: 5:21pm On May 19, 2017
Examination Malpractice and Solution
(Using the Nigerian University as a model)
By: D.K Edonkumoh, Esq.

One of the myriad of problems facing our university educational system is examination malpractice. It has eaten deep into the fabric of our university system to the extent that some students may possibly call for the legalization of examination malpractice in our university system. Examination Malpractice as a problem to our university system is the massive and unprecedented abuse of rules and regulation pertaining to internal and public examinations. It often begins from the setting of such examinations through the taking of the examinations, their marking and grading, to the release of the result, and the issuance of certificate. In other words, examination malpractice is said to have occurred when there is perceived breakdown of the rules of engagement governing the conduct of examination by parties involved (candidates, examiners, supervisor etcetera).

From the foregoing, it is apparent that students alone are not to be blamed for examination malpractice in general and in our university system in particular. It involved lecturers, who may be out of their greed and sheer ignorance disclose examination questions to some students prior to the examination date. This scenario is common global phenomenon most especially in Nigerian universities. Lecturers are also involved in wholesome practices like awarding scores to students for money and sometimes se especially the female students. This can be termed as pre-examination malpractice. This brings examination malpractice, fondly called “expo”.

Inadequate facility also aids examination malpractice in Nigerian Universities. Most universities admits students over and above available facilities as prescribed by the Nigerian Universities Commission. This situation will no doubt make the task of supervising examination becomes an herculean task. In 2009, I witnessed a situation in the Niger Delta University where about 4000 students were to write “GST“101 (Use of English). We were scattered over and halls with 500 in each. The arrangement made it possible for students to whisper in the sense that, when the supervisors (who are limited compared to the number of students who registered for the examination), moves from one hall to another, leaving some without supervisor, dictation would be going on in the remaining halls because the halls were so wide apart.
Registration for general study (GST) creates impersonation that allows pre-examination malpractice. There are two types of impersonation. In the first form, a candidate registers with his or her names but submits the photograph of another person, the mercenary, with whom arrangement has been made to take the examination on his/her behalf.

In this arrangement, this candidate may enter another arrangement with the legislator to replace the mercenary’s photograph with his/her own or the mercenary submits poorly taken picture taken picture that will fade within a few weeks of production. When they fade away, replacement is demanded. Then the original candidate picture will be submitted.

The second phase of impersonation is a situation where a candidate pays for two general studies registration forms, one for the student and the other for the mercenary writer in the name of the one who hired him while the student may not bother to submit or write anything. Another phase of pre-examination malpractice indulged by examiners in our university system is the infatuation of the Continuous Assessment Results of students who must have paid them in cash or in kind.

During examinations, materials which candidates feel could assist them answers could be brought in. This form of examination malpractice involves copying something in a small sheet of paper like the size of a complimentary card which could be tucked into shoes or mathematical sets. Information could also be written on palms or other parts of the body.

Another method of bringing in foreign materials which has been prepared by mercenary into the hall is through courier. The courier may be one of the invigilators or examination supervising assistants charged with the responsibilities of ensuring order in the examination hall.

This brings us to post examination malpractice. Post examination malpractice entails such activities after the examination as a supervisor leaving the envelope containing examination scripts open on previous arrangement, so that submission of script(s) written outside the hall could be included in the envelope before sealing and submitting same to the examination body. Submission of script already prepared for him by a third party in exchange of his script under the space of arrangement with the examiner is another incidence of examination malpractice in our universities. The arrangement in this instance is, the examiner or supervisor is to remove the first one submitted and substitute the one brought in from outside. Another form of examination malpractice in our university system has to do with officials in the information technology centre of our universities changing a candidate’s result on a computer storage facility, or illegally issuing certificates or statement of result. This is more prevalent among the exams and records officials of our universities.

The question that is mind boggling amongst dissenting voices to the examination malpractice crusade in our university system is what causes examination malpractice in our university education system? Whichever form examination malpractice takes, it can be traced to the following possible causes:

Emphasis in paper qualification: In the modern Nigeria society, people tend to value more, one’s paper qualification (grade) i.e. first class or second class upper division rather than one’s actual abilities. Owing to this onerous demand, students therefore focus on getting the grades without bothering about acquiring the requisite knowledge. Thus the rule is, pass by all means whether or not you can defend your certificate. The crusaders of this theory will rely on the Machiavelli’s school of thought “the end justifies the mean”.

So, laziness on the part of the students is one of the remote causes of examination malpractice in Nigerian Universities. It is an open secret that a good number of the students who indulge in one form of examination malpractice or the other are actually intelligent, but because of laziness, they find it difficult to study. Some of them fail to attend classes; rather they prefer to while away their time in frivolities. Others spend their time clubbing and partying, living in the euphony of undergraduates, thus having little or no time for their books.

Whilst it is easy to blame the students for a poor attitude towards learning, some blames ought to also be apportioned for the lecturers. Lecturers create the platform for the evil to thrive. If a lecturer refuses to be bribed, will he lose his job? What does one expect when a lecturer comes to class only twice in a semester; maybe the first time to introduce the course and mandate the students to read up the topics. And the second time to conduct a 10 to 20 minutes revision class, without actually bothering to know whether or not the students understood what they read, yet such lecturers will be the one to twist their examination questions as though they were examining professional candidates. Can’t this be termed to mean an invitation to treat? Asked differently, can’t this be interpreted to mean an indirect invitation come and “see” me later?
Parents on their own side cannot be excused in this matter. In most cases, they actually sow the seed of examination malpractice in their children. This could be traced back to their children’s post-primary days. Parents at the basis levels fail in their responsibilities and instead, prefer to buy special centre exam forms as well as certificates for their children, why won’t their children hold on to that trait? The Bible says “train a child in the way he should go, when he grows, he will not depart form it” (Proverb 22:6) so the children may only be living after their parents footsteps.

Going further, it is also apparent from the happenings in our society that the poor learning environment/facilities which make it relatively difficult for students to grasp what they are being taught, is one of the remote causes of examination malpractice.

At this point, my audience may ponder why all these efforts on a perennial phenomenon-examination malpractice? Whilst one waits for such views, it is desired we shift our attention to the barrage of effects which are associated with examination malpractice.

First of all, it kills the educational and academic values of our society. It is an open secret that, owing to the high rate of examination malpractice in Nigerian Universities, most employers in and outside Nigeria no longer value academic certificates issued in Nigeria as they see them (certificates) as being no more valuable than the pieces of paper on which they are printed.

Similarly, it kills the spirit of hard work as a good number of students now depend on examination malpractice popularly known as “ex-po” to achieve the same or even higher level of success than their contemporaries who spent their time studying. This had contributed to the low level of productivity as graduates get jobs in areas where they know little or next to nothing, even with their excellent results.

It also discourages the few students who depend on their hard working. This is more so when you see someone you are far better than graduating or making good grades because he has chosen to indulge in examination malpractice whether pre, during or post.

In addition, the student may be caught, and in a school like Niger Delta University, that would amount to an automatic two years suspension or even expulsion for the student (depending on the form of malpractice), which thus leads to an elongation or may bring an end to the student’s academic career. And for the lecturers, it can as well lead to suspension or loss of job.


Suffice to say, the question is, what is the way out? In response to the above question, I wish to opine the following;
Parents should stop the habit of buying certificates for their children; rather they should encourage them to work hard to earn such certificate or grades on merit.

The university authorities and the National University Commission in particular should streamline the quota given to each university per academic session in order to avoid over-crowding, and ensure a better learning environment with requisite learning tools for the students. This will enable the students to get a full grasp of what they are being taught.

More so, openings in a firm or employment should not be based only on one’s grade, rather modalities should be fashioned out to ensure that only those with the right skill/knowledge and not just grade alone are employed. This will help to cub the unhealthy race for certificate acquisition. This will poise as a motivation to the students to work hard. Put differently, it will propel students to study with some sense of seriousness.

The lecturers should on their part see their profession as a call to serve humanity and not just as a means of livelihood. By this, they should focus more on the impact they are to make in the lives of their students as well as the society against the backdrop of the immediate benefits they can get from their jobs.

Nevertheless, the students on their own part should understand that everything being said revolves around them. For the above recommendations to be effective, it has to start from the desk. Students should brace up and take the bull by the horn by embracing hard work and excellence.

A popular saying says it that it takes two to tango. If there were no buyers indefinitely there will be no sellers.It is now left for all stakeholders to put the whole issues into consideration for possible actions, it is not just enough to decide, such decisions must be backed by actions.

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Re: Examination Malpractice And Solution (using The Nigerian University As A Model) by Samstyle(m): 1:29am On Dec 07
Re: Examination Malpractice And Solution (using The Nigerian University As A Model) by asuustrike1: 9:21am On Dec 07
Good job. Lala do something about this
cc: lalasticlala
Re: Examination Malpractice And Solution (using The Nigerian University As A Model) by Alejob: 5:59am On Dec 08
Revival of our technical college and scholarships for students and staff from same to go to China and learn new skills then non political empowerment on their return will do a lot to diversity our people from certificate focused study. I am the right person to talk to as far as powerbank for your laptop, Phones and LED TV is concerned. See my signature below and recommend. Thanks

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