Examination malpractice is common in most of our higher institutions in Nigeria. It was its peak in the “70s” as cited by Nnamani P. Hence we hear expo, (1973) common among the secondary school leavers.
Nowadays, “expo” as it is commonly called is practiced even by children in the kindergarten primary institutions according to a nursery | primary school teacher. She observed that after writing on the black board certain words, concepts or ideals to be dictated to the children based on their (children’s) cognitive level, some exam cheats would quickly scriple it on their desks or at the back of their papers. Then, during the dictation session, those cheats would copy from it. Therefore a good and careful teacher is an assent in teaching, learning| Experiences for he or she could easily pick up such fraudulent children.
The importance of an efficient and well integrated teaching services in the development of any nation cannot be over emphasized because exam malpractice in the higher institutions in Nigeria, which is the highest citadel of learning from kindergarten, primary, secondary schools and then tertiary institutions, and it constituted an act of indiscipline.
The academic conception of discipline shows it as a part or branch of studies. That is why on the last convocation of institute of management and Technology, the school management or authority cited that certificate was issued both in character and in learning” ( Njeze C. 1997).
To achieve the above ideal, the lecturers’ roles are invaluable. This assertion was supported by Uka (1995) who declared that “ on the health of the nation”. it should be remembered that these students would become ( in future) the leader of tomorrow (Ibian 1986) also cried out that “in every society, the teacher is number 1 and in his care lies my children and yours”
Ukeje (1980) asserted that education is now, perhaps the fastest growing industry in the country.
“Yet bedaiked by indiscipline activities like exam malpractices, cultism in schools, sexual promiscuity, prostitution, alcoholism, drug addition to maintain but a few. It should be noted that some states in the federation allocate upward of 30% of their annual budget to education. Yet, all over the country cited Ukeje (1980) there is a growing crises of supply and demand in education, everything connected to education is in short supply. In some states there is apparent confusion if not utter chaos.
The major problem is that indiscipline in schools especially in higher institutions has assumed epidemic proportion. Initially, government stopped in 1975 and redoubled its efforts in 1977 when it set a national conference meant for schools administrators where about 245 school administrators attended and made some useful suggestions. Later government set up War Against Indiscipline and WAI Brigade of which graduates are encouraged to be members. MAMSER-Mass Mobilization for Social Justice and Economic Recovery which is now replaced with National Orientation Agency (WOA). These schemes were hatched to dissuade the youths from involving themselves in disciplinary actions including cheating during examination.
To eradicate this despicable offence in school, the lecturers must be given top priority in terms of incentives `since they will bear the brunt from these fraudulent undergraduates whose disciplinary behaviours emanate from other sources like the home, peer group, elders, mass media like TV and the society generally. With the increase in cult activities in schools especially IMT who may use their clandestine mischief against the disciplinary lectures. It is unfortunate that a lot of lecturers have not been paid for 2 months now. A good working condition which involves adequate remuneration with fringe benefits with even professional allowances would encourage the teachers or lecturers to dam what ever retribution that would visit them in punishing examination fraudulent students.
The present Rector of the IMT, Dr Njeze c. had a strong disciplinary examination committee which even set an example with the rector’s cousin, yet examination malpractices has continued to increase debated. Consequently, most may wish to influence members of the committee in cash and in kind. Most students do not stay in school and do not attend lectures to the extent that they do not even know their lecturers facially. These class of students openly request for handout, which is banner in the IMT. The handout if gotten was easily converted to expo or malpractice material for copying during examination some of them who involve themselves in invisible “expo” are never caught by supervisors.
Some of these students from very wealthy homes hire mercenary (expo agents)who write examination for them ready to face rustication if discovered and caught by supervisors. The fact is that these categories of students are not even qualified to take exams if proved that they do not make maximum attendance of lecture as required by the school rule and regulation.
To be cordial, some regular students are working class people and they cannot leave their jobs in fear of not getting any in the future. Consequently, they are unable to meet the attendance requirement and lack the academic stuff to seat for examination without cheating. It will also be observed that some lecturers still prefers to pass a students who bought his handout or whose names are normally entered in their records rather than students that gave the stuff without purchasing or buying their handouts.
GENERAL BACK GROUND TO THE SUBJECT MATTER
The study covers the institute of management and technology, Enugu.
Through the work was carried out in IMT it did not cover the preliminary students and other higher institutions due to financial constraints. Now that transportation fares is very high because of fuel scarcity, it is very difficult for the researcher to move to other schools.
The researchers also found it difficult and unreliably to get or find students who are involved in cheating during examinations. The researcher also finds it difficult to meet members of the IMT examination malpractice committee for work reliable data.
1.2 PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUBJECT MATTER.
This Study was embarked to ascertain what seemed to be the feeling of the public on examination malpractice or cheating in higher institution believed that examination malpractice is on the increase in higher institutions in Nigeria, IMT inclusive.
The research surveys how the various institutions in general and IMT in particular attempt to solve this problem through the school disciplinary committee or panel.
The problems of this research are that there is no concrete evidence or empirical data to determine that examination malpractice emanated from students alone. Some critiques attack the lecturers, at the other time the peer group or the society at large or the mass media especially the television. It is in the light of the problem that the researcher declared it necessary to find out the problems and causes of examination malpractice.
1.3 PROBLEM (S) THAT THE STUDY WILL BE
Concerned with the study will be concerned with the.
a. Attitudes of society
b. Attitudes of parents/guardians
c. Attitudes of students themselves.
d. Problems of unemployment and economic hardship.
e. Over dependence of academic paper qualification as an index of time knowledge.
f. Attitude of school authorities, lecturers.
a. ATTITUDES OS PARENT/GUARDIANS: Many parents and guardians tends to deny many of the privileges offered to successful wards or children to those children or wards who do not well during the examination. Consequently, these of the less intelligent student report to examination malpractice to pass in order to secure favour from their parents. Parents should also realise that every student should not be a genius, but rather given facilities equally with their mates capable of ensuring the studied and passed their examinations.
The children/wards should not be pampered by their parents and relation and issued with a lot of money capable of negatively socialising the students of believe that their money is enough to make them successful graduates. Without realising their books but and after examinations. As a result of this negative socialization. Such wards do not read hard joins secret cults and became very extravagant in schools.
b. ATTITUDE OF SOCIETY: The society feels that every person who goes to school must succeed very well not minding how such success result came about.
Consequently, most people want to enrols into the IMT would want to succeed by all means through financial settlement, mercenary system, sexual immorality and so on. This idea held by members of the society helps to exacerbate the rate of examination malpractices in the school.
Some students that have wealthy friends normally collects a lot of money from them to ‘Sort’ or ‘settle’ the corrupt lecturer or supervision. In fact some lecturer and supervisors never involve themselves in such abnormal activities.
Some also use their money to enrol into cut groups so as to seek protection, which to the researchers are false protection. Because without reaching your books, you may not pass.
c. ATTITUDES OF THE STUDENTS: The students idiosyncratic ` behaviour contribute a lot on the high prevalence of ‘expo’ scans or activities in the IMT. The students praise and hail successful expo exploits who succeeded in out writing the lecturers or intimidating the examiners when caught.
The students also praised students who display lather or dangerous weapons like pistols jack knives in the hall instead of helping to discipline such students by alerting the school authority or lecturers who we believe must keep such information very confidential. The researchers are aware of the legitimate fears of such students who say that they were mainly cult members that may terminate or end their lives, should these cult cannibals learn that they were the source of information to the school authority. Problems of unemployment and economic hardship. Labour market is very competitive nowadays as result of economic underdevelopment. The manufacture of computers have also aggravated the already worse level of unemployment, because a computer can do a job 100 men can perform in one day in 15 minutes.
As a result of this, student want to pass through fair or fowl means. Education itself in now a battlefield and examination itself is a war front. There fore, the student must pass very well murder to compete favourably in the labour market in search of employment.
Political instability has also increased the economic problems of Nigeria where money worth and value has diminished considerably. The IMT is in Nigeria and share part of these problems more especially now that students use even the money meant for feeding to purchase or buy handouts. It is true that the IMT authority pronounced that it is no longer compulsory for buying handouts but the lecturers’ handouts must be bought by each student and names of such student written down, so as to use it during marketing of the scripts. any student who fails to buy such handout may not see his result until he buys the handout even if you photocopied it from your classmate
After suffering a lot of deprivations in the school no student would like to fail, hence expo or cheating or examination malpractice became institutionalised by the students as the ultimate for onwards movement to the next class with his mates.
e. over dependence on academic paper qualification as an index true knowledge.
To day, most Nigerians still used the qualification and measures of a persons true academic ability especially in the arts based course like mass communications where practical courses are absent. Even in the science based courses some people rely on the paper qualification for competitive employment and placement on particular posts and financial remunerations.
Consequently, a lot of students therefore insisting on getting a good paper qualification by all means including cheating. On the contrary the multination films dominated by the white men insists that practical courses must back whatever qualification one obtains.
Ethnicism and ethnocenticism, Favouritism and Sectionalism etc are other factors used in Nigeria for employment opportunities and placement. The desperate students there insists on at least passing very well hoping that someday, someone may wish to help and a good certificate may be an additional advantage.
F. Attitude of the school authorities, Lecturers, Examiners etc. Because the Lecturers, Supervisors etc Salaries are not paid as and when due they are induced to search foe money in this hard times. Many innocent Lecturers or Examiners may collect money from desperate students abating and aiding examination malpractices.
In search of greener pasture, they may even collect more money to deliver examination papers to students to sit outside the hall. These scripts are often marked as if it was equally written during the examination. Having collected money, the lecturer or examiner may ignore giraffing i.e. peeping into another persons work, mercenary’ activities and absentee types of cheating can be allowed.
1.4 THE IMPORTANCEOF STUDING THE AREA
The level of examination malpractices in the IMT Enugu has continued to increase from strength to strength and the researchers wish to prefer the following solutions.
a. Stepping up of the examination malpractice disciplining committee.
It is true that the school has examination malpractices disciplinary committee but efforts must be steeped up to the increase the punishment melted out to defaulters.
b. Cult membership must be discouraged and all such cases must be sent to the police for severe criminal reprisals as a deterrent to other students. Since, it has been observed that cult members have more propensity to cheat and to unleash reprisals or attack on examiners, lecturers and supervisors are even students at large.
c. Students who do not satisfy the attendance requirements should not be allowed to sit for the examination since it has been discovered that a lot of these cheats do not attend their normal class.
This rule is also enshrined in the school rules and regulation but is often not taken serious.
d. The students must also be encouraged to attend classes and do their assignments and quizzes and a rule should disqualify those who ignored such rules.
This idea is in agreement with the Nigerians new educational policy recommending continuous assessment.
These quizzes will help the students read and revise their papers and copy their note or even reads their handout which are often stamped in three days to take examination or cheat or malpractice in this three days planning in different. Forms and strategies of cheating.
b. Governments should ensure that lecturers are paid promptly i.e. and when due.
The lecturers, examination and supervisors should be paid more than anybody in the Federation as it is done in the U.S. This is because they are the producers of tomorrow, the doctors, politicians, engineers, broadcasters etc. In the IMT, the researchers observed that the lecturers has not paid for months now. Such of duty by the government will encourage malpractices in that hungry families lecturers may collect ,money from desperate students in other to cheat or allow them cheat.
f. The lecturers, examiners and the supervisors should ensure that no students goes with any piece of paper and redouble their efforts to ensure that the students do not come out with mini computer machines in their name of calculating machines.
- The general public should not emphasize on aptitude and demonstration or exhibition of learned behaviour rather than over-emphasize on paper qualification.
- Parents should be meant to understand that the home is a major agency of socialization therefore sending them into school for further education. And while at school, they should not over pamper them (their children) by stuffing them money above what the students needed for it has been discovered that cheating is even more common with some over pampered children of the rich who use their money tto settle, sort lecturers, supervisors or examiners or even staff working in closer proximity with lecturers etc.
- Lecturers, examiners and supervisors should stop collecting money from students in order to give them more marks than the scored. This is called sorting by students and this act should be stopped in order to give the students courage to read their looks.
- Handouts should not be made compulsory task. The lecturers should not force students to buy handouts for the students did not come from the same families i.e. all the families are not equal, some are wealthy why some are poor. And on English proverb said something about that and that is that all fingers are not equal.
1.5 Definition of important terms
- War Against Indiscipline (WAI) it was set up during Buhari/Idiagbor regime to instill and inculcate the spirit of discipline and good behaviour on Nigerian people.
- MAMSER: A programme by general Babangida which means Mass Mobilization for Social Justice and Economic Recovery. It was meant to rementate the Nigerian populace towards self reliance, which will help to curtail indisciplinary behaviour on the Nigerian people.
- NOA (As was called under late General Abacha’s government but similar to MAMSER discussed above for mobilizing the Nigerian not only for economic recovery but also for his self-succession.
- Expo: It means or denotes Examination Malpractice as was common in early 70s called expo 70 or expo set or expo students. During this period, the cheating was massively practiced by students in many ways.
- Mershi (mercenary): This is a kind of malpractice where by a person impersonifies himself to take or seat an examination for another person. An analogy could be found in a situation where a foreign soldier fights for an indeginous soldier in which a form of fee is paid for the services. The soldier is called a mercenary soldier. In the case of cheating the impersonifying cheat has to be paid to take such a risk.
- Invisible expo: it is a form of malpractice where the cheat uses finished biro to write down points or ideas about a particular examination which may not be legible or seen or noticed by the supervisor.
- Sorting: it is a common slang in IMT meaning bribing ones way either a supervisor, teacher or lecturer or non-academic personnel etc.
- Giraffing: Peeping at a fellow student’s examination papers with the intention to copy his work.
- Armour: Arming or suffering oneself with materials for cheating so that it will be easily replaced if marched away from the cheating students.
- Omo-Kirikiri: As the name implies, it is writing very tinny points or ideas about an examination with an intention to cheat or copy from it.
- Cultism: A secrete group formed in the school meant for in group protection and out group intimidation of lecturers, non-members of their cult, fellow students both males and females etc. These secrete groups answers several names like the Pirates, Black axe, Buccaniers etc. Some of these groups existed even during the colonial period but was used patriotically to struggle for political emancipation and independence from colonial rule.
- Omo-Reminder: This is where ideas of or about the examination might be put down in short forms to remind the students on what to write.
- Coding: Students may employ special codes or pass words or symbols which if heard or seen by the lecturers they can never interpret it.
- High Technology expo: Using certain Japanese products (calculators) to store information about the papers they are taken and remembering to press the necessary button to deceive the lecturer not to discover that they (students) are picking fact about the subject or the paper from the so called calculating machine. This storage area is meant for storing names and addresses.
- Economy: This is also a slang used by students which implies the set of bad students normally boys who on the examination hall threatens to kill or harm supervisors when caught cheating in the examination hall.
Nnamani P.U. (1974) Education at the Gross Roads Enugu KENMARK press.
Okonkwo G. (1998) Functional Education in Nigeria Enugu Remi press.
Njeze C. (1972) Speech presented during the convocation ceremony of IMT Enugu.
Ibiam F.A. (1986) Encounter (IBC channels programme). Owerri March
Ukeje B.U. (1980) Speech delivered during the matriculation ceremony at Anambra State College of Education Awka.
Dr. (mr) Onwubiko (1980) causes of indiscipline in schools Onisha Udo press..