A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF TEACHERS PERCEPTION OF THE CAUSES AND EFFECT OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1Background Of The Study
Learners are educated, prepared, and properly directed to develop appropriate skills and expertise, as well as how to conform to suitable public life, through education. Education is seen as a mechanism that encourages individuals to evolve in accordance with their individual desires and potentials (Wikipedia.com). The early years of schooling are spent developing basic interpersonal contact and reading skills, after which the focus turns to gaining the expertise and skills needed to build value and maintain a livelihood.
Formal and informal education are the forms of education. Formal education takes place in a controlled environment with the clear goal of instructing students. Informal learning takes place in a variety of settings, including after school, in youth programs at community centers, and also in village squares. Informal learning does not follow a set curriculum and can occur by chance, sporadically, in conjunction with specific events, or as a result of changing functional criteria.
Teaching and studying is primarily realistic in the conventional African educational system. Orally and through direct observation of toturs, the students learned. In essence, as society was involved in skill learning and practical presentation of the arts studied, there was no issuing of a certificate to prove completion of a course of study. There was no need for qualifications because education was seen as a means to an end rather than a goal in and of itself (Akaranga & Ongong, 2013).
However, the formal education system, or western knowledge learning system (adopted in Africa), is calculated in terms of certificates. However, a certificate is not conclusive evidence of information retention. however, before the certificate is awarded, the candidates must be evaluated or tested in the area in which they have been qualified.
Examinations (internal and external examinations) are used in Nigeria, as in other foreign countries, to rate students’ academic success and determine their level of assimilation.
According to Nnam and Inah (2015), assessment is a yardstick by which students’ or candidates’ performance and success in the education field are formally assessed and appraised. According to Emaikwu (2012), testing as part of educational assessment is used to determine a learner’s degree of ability development or academic maturity and comprehension after a given training. As guidance, evaluation typically allows tutors to be adequately prepared for additional teaching.
According to Malik and Shah (1998), as quoted in Akaranga and Ongong (2013), assessment is not only a means of measuring students’ success, but it also motivates and allows them to understand their intellectual abilities and shortcomings, as well as providing teachers with opportunities to explore new methods of teaching. However, if an analysis is not correctly performed, the expected reviews will not be obtained. As a consequence, the outcome of such assessment leads to incorrect decisions and judgments that influence tutors, learners, the entire educational system, and community (Ojonemi et al., 2013). Where there is an irregularity or malpractice in the test, the authenticity and results are called into question.
The widespread assumption that certificates are the only yardstick with which to determine one’s academic value has resulted in an increase in test malpractice and many Nigerians purchasing educational certificates to show their academic worth. Examination malpractice in Nigeria predates the country itself. Examination malpractice was first recorded in Nigeria in 1914, according to (Anzene, 2014; Uzoigwe; Onuka & Amoo), when the question papers of the Senior Cambridge Local Examinations were allegedly seen by candidates before the scheduled date of the review.
The Examination Malpractice Act (1999) defines examination malpractice as “any act of omission or commission by a person who, in anticipation of, before, after, or after any examination, fraudulently secures any unfair advantage for himself or any other person in such a manner that contravenes the rules and regulations to the extent of undermining the validity, reliability, or authenticity of the examination.”
Examination malpractice was described by Onuka and Amusan (2008), as any dishonest or unauthorized action or deed committed by a student on his own or in collaboration with others, such as fellow students, guardians, parents, teachers, head teacher, examination officials, supervisors, invigilators, security officers, and anyone or group of people before, throughout, or after examination as cited by cited in Onuka & Durowoju (2013).
Through all of the concept, it is evident that examination malpractice appears to give the offenders an unfair benefit or an undeserved score. Again, it can be committed not only by applicants, but also by other bodies concerned with examination control. Examination malpractices are popular everywhere, and each exam season sees the introduction of innovative and inventive methods of cheating (Nnam & Inah, 2015; Anzene, 2014; Ojonemi et al., 2013; Jimoh, 2009). it is hence upon this note that this research is undertaken to obtain teachers’ perception of the causes and effect of examination malpractice in secondary schools.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Exam malpractice has indeed been a societal issue for decades, but the rate and manner in which it is being committed today is cause for considerable concern. The prevalence of this activity has grown to the point that there is almost no investigation anywhere at all levels and beyond the traditional school system, implying that there is no one type of criminal conduct or another (Nnam & Inah, 2015; Ojonemi et al., 2013).
Examination malpractice has tainted the educational system and knows no bounds, as students, teachers, and even lecturers and governing bodies have all participated in this heinous crime.
Examination malpractice at all educational level is the biggest challenge to the legitimacy and efficacy of any examination, and therefore to the authenticity and acceptance of any certificate given. Exam malpractice among school students in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State has become an increasing issue over the years, as cheating is such a long-standing and global issue inherent in human beings. Efforts should be made to detect and monitor cheating conduct, which is the primary purpose of this study.
1.3. Objectives Of The Study
The overall aim of this study is to critically examine teachers’ perception of the causes and effect of examination malpractice in secondary schools. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;
- Identify the causes of examination malpractice in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
- Identify the environmental factors and dynamic ways in which teachers/school authorities promote exam malpractice.
- Examine the effect of examination malpractice on the actual academic performance of students.
1.3 Research Questions
The following questions guilds this study;
- What are the causes of examination malpractice?
- What are the ways in which teachers/school authorities promote exam malpractice?
- What are the environmental factors that contributes to exam malpractice?
- What is the effect of examination malpractice on the actual academic performance of students.
1.6. Significance Of The Study
The implementation of the finding and recommendations of this study will not only expose the extent to which students are involved in examination malpractice but will also suggest some remedies or a lasting solutions to this academic dishonesty. This study is also expected to help the Government, school administrators, teachers and guidance counsellors to curb or control cheating behaviour in schools. More so, the research will also assist educational planners in improvising drastic measures to curb the act of exam malpractice. The study will further identify the causes and methods used by students to cheat during examination. More remarkably, this study will be so relevant as it will add to the existing literature on this subject matter.
1.7. Scope Of This Study
- This study is specifically concentrated on identifying the causes of examination malpractice in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State, identifying the environmental factors and dynamic ways in which teachers/school authorities promote exam malpractice, and examining the effect of examination malpractice on the actual academic performance of students. This study is therefore delimited to selected secondary schools in Fufore Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Examination: This is an educational assessment intended to measure a test-taker’s knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics.
Students: A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving easy employment at a particular field.
Examination Malpractice: This is any misconduct or improper practice in any examination with a view to obtaining good results through fraudulent action.