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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Reducing Examination Malpractices In Secondary Schools


Reducing Examination Malpractices In Secondary Schools



This study examines the different ways of reducing examination malpractice in secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted a survey research deign. The population of the study was eight hundred (800) teachers currently teaching in secondary schools in the study area. Fifty (50) teachers were selected using simple random sampling technique. The data was collected using a structured questionnaire and analyzed using a simple percentage statistical method. The findings of the study revealed that quality of teachers, continuous assessment and the use of CBT could reduce examination malpractice as well as the increase in the number of supervisors and invigilators was said to have minimal effect in reducing examination malpractice. The study therefore recommended among others that there should be a gradual introduction of CBT not solely for reduction of malpractice but as a way of advancing education in the Nigerian society.




1.1    Background to the Study

Examination malpractice has become a very ugly phenomenon in the Nigerian education system, thus posing a great threat to the standards of examinations in Nigeria and the acceptability of the worth of the certificates resulting from them. Examination malpractice according to Adedokun (2003), may be defined to include misconduct or any act not in consonant with the rules and regulations guiding the examination with a view to obtain good results by fraudulent means. Examination malpractice has been a cause of great concern to the society to the extent that there had to be an enactment of the examination malpractice Act 33 of 1999 to deal with this societal menace.

Malpractice during examination includes, copying from another candidate with or without permission, impersonation, collusion by interested parties invigilators and supervisors, intimidation of supervisors and invigilators, substitution of scripts of examines with that of those done by machinaries .  Others that are also termed malpractice, includes bringing in of  unauthorized materials into examination hall, these materials could include phones, calculators, watches with calculators, receivers linked to external transmitters hearing aids and external assistance from invigilators, supervisors, non-academic officers (clerks and office massagers) or hired persons. There is also the issue of post-examination malpractice which includes markers awarding unearned marks, or substituting unearned marks with earned ones, hence producing inflated scores. Candidates with such undeserved marks get admission into higher institutions and tend to perform below average in this institution. Examination malpractice has placed question mark on the quality of Nigeria educational system and its certification.  Uwachae (1997), Bolareinwa (2002) and Amwanbor (2011), opined that great emphasis on certificate as a means of employment or progress from one point to another make students more desperate to acquire certificate at all means thus culminating in examination malpractice. Ubehenin (2002) observed that either student cheats or parents help them to engage in examination malpractice because they want admission at all cost. While Souza (2004) was of the views that since teachers are poorly remunerated, they are not interested in their work. These results in improper teaching thus making them not properly taught students to resort to examination malpractice.

Examination malpractice is very rampant in the secondary school in Nigeria. It was in the hope of checking these expresses that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) institutes the computer based test. Moreso, some universities have also followed suit by introducing computer Based-Aptitude Test for admission seekers. Examination malpractice aside being a hydra-headed monster tends more to becoming a culture in our educational system. Infact, many happen to be living happily with the situation.

In a country, were wrong doing is celebrated there are some who still think that something needs to be done to curb the menace. According Okoye (2006), Nigeria national hopes and aspiration as regards building up a virile prosperous and stable nation may be negated, if these malpractices are allowed to continue in the country. With examination malpractice and their attendant repercussion such as result cancellation and with holding of result, the country can no longer be sure of the efficacy, efficiency and productivity of the educational programmes and institutional procedures since the surest parameter for assessing instructional procedures is instructional outcomes.

Some researchers are of the view that most students are prepared for examination conditions, thus, they advocate classroom pre-testing in the form of continuous assessment. They (Mangal, 2013, Okoli 2005, Obe, 1995) agree continuous assessment is a teacher’ continuous updated judgments about the learners’ performance in relation to specific criteria which will allow at anytime a cumulative judgments to be made about the learner’s performance.

According to the Registrar of Jamb, Professor Dibu Ojerende, the introduction of computer-based-test for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) led to a drastic reduction in examination malpractice in the country. There is however debates as to whether the computer based test should be used for other secular examinations such as the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the National Examination Council (NECO) examinations.

There are also others who are of the view that the number of invigilators and supervisors for external examinations are grossly inadequate. Considering the significance of quality education and the potential harm that may accrue to the individual, institutions and the larger society, this study will seek to examine the impact of the quality of teachers, the use of continuous assessment, the use of computer-based-test in helping to reduce examination malpractices in the secondary school level. The study will also examine the potential impact and increase in the number of supervisors and invigilators may have in helping to reduce examination.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Many causes have been identified as encouraging examination malpractices in Nigeria, among which are students laziness, poor study habit and ill-preparedness for examinations, indolence on the part of parents, teachers, students and premium placed on certificates at the expenses of actual skill acquisition  (Anwabor, 2011, Onuka and Obialo, 2004).

Findings in some precious studies showed that classroom over-crowdedness lowers the output of the teacher, insufficient number of qualified and poor teaching methods also lead to examination malpractice. Ugwegbu identifies factors causing examination malpractice as the urge to avoid failure and consolidation of one’s excellent performance. Berga (1986) says that students cheat during examination because of the pressure of work, pressure from parents, friends and absence of severe punishment to culprits. He further noted that parents have become more desperate than ever in the pursuit of their children/ wards education in that they go out of their way to hire people to write examinations for their children. One then wonders what moral such parents are passing to future generations, and what kind of legacy are they leaving behind?

Examination malpractice has assumed an endemic proportion; it has metamorphosed into organized crime controlled by syndicates. These centers have links in the education ministries and examination boards, examination bodies, and educational institutions across the length of Nigeria.

Since the issue of examination malpractice is a national problem, Etinan Local Government Area is not an exception to this menace. This is why this study will try to find out if the issue of teachers quality, use of continuous assessment, computer–based-test and the increase in the number of invigilators can have any significant impact in reducing examination malpractice in secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area.

1.3    Purpose of the Study

Generally, the study intends to investigate possible approaches that can help in reducing examination malpractice in Etinan Local Government Area. Specifically, the Study will:

i       Find out the relationship between teachers’ quality and reduction of examination malpractice in the study area.

ii       Examine the relationship between the conduct of continuous assessment and reduction in examination malpractice.

iii      Examine the impact of computer-based-test in reducing examination malpractice in the study area.

iv      Investigate the relationship between increase in number of invigilators and supervisors and reduction in examination malpractice.

1.4    Research Questions

In the course of conducting the study, it was imperative to raise the following research questions to guide the study: 

i       How does the quality of teachers contribute to reduction in secondary school examination malpractice in Etinan Local Government Area?

ii       To what extent can continuous assessment contribute to reduction in examination malpractice?

iii      Is  there any relationship between the use of computer-based-test and reduction in examination malpractice in secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area?

iv      Is there any relationship between increase in the number of supervisors and invigilators and reduction in incidence of examination malpractice?

1.5    Research Hypotheses

i       There is no significant relationship between the quality of teachers and reduction in examination malpractice in secondary schools Local Government Area

ii       There is no relationship between continuous assessment and reduction in examination malpractice.

iii      There is no significant relationship between the use of computer– based-test and reduction in examination malpractice in Etinan Local Government Area

iv      There is no significant relationship between the increase in the number of invigilators and supervisors and reduction in examination malpractice.


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