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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
There is evidence that examinations are some of the controversial issues in educational system. Due to its nature it has attracted much criticism. Some of which should be laid on examinations while others advocate understanding of the subject matter rather than recourse of examinations.
However, examinations are known to play very important roles in our educational system. As stated by Stephen (1969) “There are numerous examples in all countries of examinations while in reality, and frequently also, competitions are designed to eliminate the majority of candidates and allocate the remainder to certain known vacancies. For example, the civil services, in secondary schools, in college or university.
In essence examinations are used to determine pass or fail of a student or group of students in the opinion of Stephen ‘’history seems to support the view that setting children against one another in trials and competitions has always been a respectable means of inciting them of deal’’. A student who knows that he might fail on examination which will in turn determine his progress or promotion will strive hard in order to pass. This encourages a kind of competition within groups of students who will aim at position in their classes.
Examinations are also used for academic stratification or for assigning grades to students. For decades, the West Africa Examination Council awards results on the basis of some stratifications. The contemporary practice of (N.C.E) students are stratified into distinction, credit merit and pass, while in the university also, students are stratified into first, second (upper and lower) or third class degrees having gone through an examination.
These grades are a measure of success and prestige. A child with a division one pass in school certificate examination will be regarded by those around him as academically precocious. He is also likely to have a place in the institution of higher learning or in job situation within the society easier than a child with a division three pass.
All these conditions have combined to influence a child’s attitude to an examination; attitude which always colonnade in an urge for success in any particular examination whether or not he had prepared for it. These competitions in school have their parallel in the society. In Nwana’s (1979) view “in the business sector, the more theoretical examinations one passes, the better chances of advancement or productivity does not increase. This is the social context in which candidate and staff operates”. The society is known to consist of specialized functions requiring from its members ability to cope with.
The society also accords some functions or higher status than others. Thus we find that two graduates from the same school and in the same field may be given different functions with one being looked upon with more respect than the other. There are often more claimants who have gone through an examination.
Examinations are also used for other purposes. They are designed as a basis for licensing. An example according to Stephen’ is the driving text. No one so far, wishes to put a limit to the number of drivers on the road or ton set motorists competing against each other in a series of proficiency text designed to knock out all but a small pre-determined quantity to top grade performance. The authority have every desire to ensure that those who handle cars are capable of doing so with at least a minimum of efficiency” All licensing examinations are means of screening undesirables, so as to make life safer for many on our roads.
Stephen the educationist also possess the believe that examinations are used as tools for social engineering. “In this respect they have been used as tools for breaking through social class barriers and speeding social mobility” These are the reasons we find that we cannot escape one kind of examination or the other. Emphasis is always on pass because this will again determine who should have a particular job in the absence of it on the spot of examinations such as oral examinations.
From the background given to this study, it could be seen that examination plays an important role in our educational system as well as the society we live in but malpractice free examinations are hard to find nowadays. Malpractices in examinations have been reported since 1914 when there was a leakage or question papers in the senior Cambridge local examination. Ever since, there have been cases of irregularities reported on a yearly basis. But, the outstanding years were 1963, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, (West African Examination Council, 2004).
Malpractices have spread nationwide including Jos Metropolis but no one seems to know the extent it has gone in particular areas and why they occur there. This investigation is therefore designed to inquire into the problem of examination malpractices in secondary schools in Jos Metropolis.
1.3 SUB PROBLEMS:
In order to be able to effectively investigate the main problems as stated above the following problems are to be investigated.
On the basis of the problems, the following were formulated:
Examination malpractice have been on the increase since 1963’s, these malpractice’s indulgents learn new tactics or methods of the crime. The purpose of this study therefore is to investigate into some important aspects of examination malpractices. This study will help specifically to find out:
Benefits will be derived from this study. Firstly, it will expose the extent to which students, parents and teachers are involved in these malpractices.
Secondly, it will provide a remedy or a lasting solution to examination malpractices.
Thirdly, it will guide educators who can suggest ways of eliminating the sources of examination malpractices
The study is limited to Jos metropolis. It sample will be limited to four secondary schools, two mixed, one girls and one boys the population will be hundred students, fifty each from the four school, head of the schools visited and some teachers in the four schools visited.
Malpractice: Refers to counter practice that is against ethics of examination. It is an act of disrespect to all rules and regulations guiding the good conduct of any examination or any evaluation process.
Examination Malpractice: Wither in the secondary schools or tertiary institution is also the act of cheating in order to pass well during an examination.
With a rider, examination malpractice is any act of Omission or Commission, which compromises the validity and integrity of any examination.
Local Government Area:- A group of towns and villages delimited as a result of the local government Edict No.13 of 1977.
Educators: as used here refers to school principals, administrators, teachers and workers in the ministry of education sampled this research.
WASC: This is the West African Secondary School Certificate examination conducted by a body outside the child’s school and thereby it is external.
Internal Examinations: These are Examinations given by the class teachers it includes class tests and terminal and seasonal examinations.
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