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EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE AND THE QUALITY OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PRODUCTS IN AKWA IBOM NORTH EAST EDUCATIONAL ZONE
The study was on ‘Examination Malpractice and quality of secondary school products in Uyo Educational Zone, Akwa Ibom State. In conducting this study three research questions were raised and three hypotheses were formulated. Samples of 372 respondents were selected from the population of5337 consisting of teachers and students in the 86 public secondary schools in Uyo Educational Zone. Two structured questionnaire titled Examination Malpractice Questionnaire (EMQ) and Quality of Secondary School Products Questionnaire (QSSPQ) were used. EMQ has 15 items for independent variable and 10 items for dependent variable (QSSPQ) structured on a 4-point rating scale of Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D) and Strongly Disagree (SD). The three hypotheses were statistically tested using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation (PPMC). The results revealed that methods of examination malpractice, teachers and parent’sinvolvement in examination malpractices do not significantly correlates with the quality of secondary school product. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended among other things that teachers and parents should not by any means or influence be coercing to indulge in any form of examination malpractice. High level of integrity and decorum should be maintained in examination hall.
Background of the Study
Examination is one of the major strategiesand most practical way of determining the extent to which students have achieved in a particularcourse of instruction or study. Any examination that will give a true measure of students’ performance must be valid, reliable and void ofexaminations misconducts. On the contrary, the advent of examination malpractice has defeated the true essence of examination. Although it started as a mild way that looks not alarming but as time went on, the foothold given to examination malpractice gradually turned to a stronghold. Until we begin to see with a new eye the meaning of examination and why it is administered, we will continue to suffer from the effect of examination malpractice. Myles Munroe said, “When the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable”. Examination malpractice is seen as a form of corruption which has crept into the Nigerian educational system. It is a form of misconduct or unacceptable behavior with a view to obtaining good grades in a fraudulent manner (Olajuwon, 2007). It is an unacceptable way of behavior either before, during or after the actual process of an examination which contravenes known laws which govern the process of taking an examination.
Methods of examination malpractice range from sneaking of foreign materials into the examination hall which the candidate will recopy into their answer booklets, external assistance from teachers, invigilators, parents, etc., switching of answer booklets in the examination hall between candidates,sometimes assisted by invigilators and teachers. The disturbing aspect of examination malpractice is the participation or involvement of school administrators, parents/Guardians, and examination personnel in examination malpractice. The rampant private and special centers for external examination like JAMB; West AfricanExamination Council (WAEC) is part of non-schools administrator involvement, which has further compounded the problem of examination malpractice (Olushola, 2007).
Teachers engage in examination malpractices by writing on the board for the students, distributing ready-made answers for the students, reading the answers for the students in examination hall, collecting money or sexual affairs to add marks for the students etc. Parentsinvolve in examination malpractice, they go as far as bribing their way through to ensure that their wardsget unearned grades while teachers encourage examination malpractice because they lack the zeal to work but wantto be praised for job not done (Alutu and Aluede, 2006).
Divergent views has been made about the rate of examination malpractice in urban and rural secondary schools in the country. Some researchers (Uyo, 2004), Akpan et al., 2005)were of the opinion that examination malpractices are high in urban schools while Lathrop and Foss, 2000; Onipede, 2003 were of the view point that examination malpractices were of the rural schools. They argue that it is common to find students who failed the senior secondary school in urban schools going to the rural schools to retake the examination. At the end, such candidate tend to obtain good results with credits and distinctions in the rural school. Some of the reasons given for this include lack of effective supervision and monitoring of public examination in rural (Al-Methan and Wikinson, 1992; Tairab, 1992; Oderinde, 2003). If invigilation is effective, cases of examination malpractice if not avoided will be drastically minimized.it can be agreed that if students come out plagued or bedeviled with examination malpractice as highlighted, the students will not graduate as quality products.
When we say something is of quality, that is to say it is authentic and has attained a high level of value or excellence. Student’s quality can be measured in the ability of the students to acquire capacity, skill, knowledge, attitude and possibility to replicate same in examination. Capacity is the ability to do something: - a mental, emotional, or physical ability while skill is the ability to do a thing resulting from training, experience and practice. Knowledge is the information, understanding or skill that one can get from experience or education. Attitude has everything to do with the way a person thinks or feel about something or someone. Students can develop these quality through good study habits with a workable timetable, regular attendance in class, a good study environment and increased motivation from stakeholders of education. Therefore with all the variables highlighted so far, are put in place in the right perspective, examination malpractice if not completely eliminated will be drastically reduced and the quality of students will improve.
Contrary to this, it has been observed that public secondary schools have suffered the menace of examination malpractice as a result of this, the quality of students graduating each year have been greatly affected. Students who cut corners to pass WAEC and NECO examination may be stuck when they will have to write JAMB or aptitude test examination that gains them admission into the tertiary institution. It may be difficult for them to reproduce knowledge that they had never acquired since all their credits and distinction were gotten from examination malpractice; which ranges from sneaking in of foreign materials, external assistance by stakeholders of education, switching of answer booklets in examination hall. Thishas become a problem where scholars sort to find a way to solve the problem. For instance; Ime (2010) conducted a study on the survey of examination malpractice among secondary school students in Nigeria and found out the major reasons for examination malpractice which includes parental pressure for good grades, value attached to certificates, and so on. Also Eneh (2014) carried out a study on the menace of examination malpractice in Nigeria, his findings among others revealed that examination malpractice has made students lack the necessary skill content. Uche (2012) also conducted a research on the measurement of ability in Nigeria and found out that the calamity of examination malpractice is not just the havoc it wrecks in our educational system but the gradual indoctrination of youths into the practice of fraud