THE MENACE OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE

by Chinedu Ugwu

pass on the chips...

pass on the chips...


From the east to the west, north south the menace of examination malpractice is echoed in all the nooks and crannies of my country Nigeria. The disease has eaten deep at all levels of our educational system ranging from the tertiary institution down to the primary level. The malady seems incurable because virtually all citizens in one way or the other are involved in this educational malaise. The youths believe they cannot be successful in examinations without this malpractice which they have baptized with so many esoteric aliases as “symbiosis, mgbo, help, memory backup, mercenary, missiles, giraffing, dubbing, xeroxing etc”. The scourge has become the order of the day such that it takes a high degree of courage and a deep sense of patriotism for anyone to bother him or herself discussing it.

Examination malpractice is defined as a deliberate wrong doing contrary to official examination rules designed to place a candidate at an unfair advantage or disadvantage. It comes in different forms like the leakage of examination papers prior to examinations, impersonation, external assistance, writing the answers on the blackboard dictation during examinations, illegal candidates, electronic assistance using phones, pagers etc, smuggling whitepaper into the hall, reproduction of another candidate’s work with or without permission, inadequate spacing, lax supervision and inflation or reduction of a candidate’s original mark by those who grade the scripts.

Laziness, inadequate preparation for examinations, pupils not taking their studies seriously, indolence, depending on fraudulent means to make it without any hard work, and all of this is done with the support of unscrupulous parents and a corrupt system of national life. These are the root causes of this tragedy.
The malefactors involved in this societal evil include corrupt government officials, indulgent parents, guardians, teachers, lecturers, host communities of exam centers, traditional institutions, peer groups, security agents, school administrators and the mass media.

Examination malpractice has become a prolific business enterprise branded with the name of private examination centres aided and abetted by corrupt examination officials, supported by parents who will not allow their children to be left out from the Trojan gift of malpractice. The business is such that some individuals open up offices with the emblematic names of “Brain Trust, One Sitting, A- One at a glance, Good Success, Brightest Future etc”. They collect from the students exorbitant fees which are more than a 100% increase of the normal registration fee. They connive with the unscrupulous proprietors of some private schools who register these candidates. Also these private schools, consisting of two halls and two sets of pupils(JSS 3 and SS3) receive accreditation from the examination bodies, WAEC, NECO etc the same year in which they are opened with or without inspection. The exam officials of these bodies lobby to be sent to such private schools because they know that there they will receive a share of the national cake. The police who are meant to be the watch dogs of justice, after receiving their own settlement (bribe) turn out to be the abettors of this crime. Before the commencement of the exams, pastors and Imans are called upon to invoke their gods which is either the supernatural or the examination messiah (malpractice) to guard the students in their exams so that they can come out in flying colours by hook or crook. Thus, it’s obvious that all heads are involved in the circle of evil called malpractice.

Furthermore, it happens that even the angels eat beans. The latest statistics released by JAMB for 2007 UME shows that Ibadan was rated number one in malpractice. This is a city – Ibadan – which hosts the premier university, and is flooded with a high number of elites, academicians. Thus, when the so called elites could give out money for their children to be enrolled in such private centers then what do you expect from the illiterate business men in Onitsha main market who are easily swerved by their indolent children.

The progress of exam malpractice is such that nine-tenths of all students sitting for any exam engage in malpractice. In Anambra state, thousands of SSCE students leave the state to other states like Edo, Enugu, and Rivers states etc. in search of the examination messiah. Sometimes it happens that 70% of the public schools in Anambra State record a 90% failure in SSCE prompting the question of whether all the pupils in Anambra State are dunces, which would be strange because this is the same state that produced the likes of Philip Emeagwali the computer wizard, the veteran novelist Chinua Achebe, Oby Ezekwesili, Dora Akunyili etc. Thus this leads one to question the uncorrupt nature of the examination bodies. Also most students expelled from the tertiary institutions after 100 level are usually those with the highest scores in JAMB. What a contradiction.

This rudderless ship called examination malpractice whose destination is self destruction poses a great threat to the survival and sustainability of good quality education. This hydra headed monster will facilitate the enthronement of a mediocre, half-baked, incompetent and corrupt workforce ranging from quack doctors and pharmacists, and will lead to massive fraud in banks, the collapse of buildings, and the miscarriage of justice.

This malaria parasite ravaging our educational sector can only be eradicated by a national consciousness. Students should be assiduous and develop an interest towards learning rather than being lethargic to their bookwork.

Parents should have a genuine reason for every penny spent on their children’s education because any student who goes into school through the window will also be thrown out through the window either by rustication or expulsion. The examination bodies JAMB, WAEC, NECO, should be sanitized and employ officials of unquestionable character. Finger prints and photographs should be used as a part of security for the exam papers.

The government should pay more attention to our education because intellectual capital is the brain behind economic and sociopolitical growth in a country. Effective penalties should be introduced against those who carry out malpractices.

Finally, the success of the war against corruption will remain impossible if this deadly disease is not eradicated. A step taken now goes a long way to determine the future of our country since the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. Lets work together to sanitize our educational system, lets save our country, lets save our future.

Chinedu Ugwu is a final year student of Veterinary Medicine in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

63 Comments

  1. Thanks for the oppotunity given me to say my mind on this educational malaise called malpractice i wish the stakeholders,youths,and all who are involved inthis evil should read this and have a rethink because the fate of our country lies in our hand and know that nomatter how clandestine you can be there is nothing hidden under the sun.I know you can justify my work with the incessant probe in the National Assembly please for Gods ake where are we heading to?

    Reply

      1. I like your comment. My advice for Nigeria youth is to read their books, not to rely on examination malpractice.

  2. It is very commonplace to hear of examination malpractice in Nigeria but the truth is in fact that it is practised in every country of the world including the USA.It is caused by a void of confidence by candidates.It is however imperative that we all strive to eliminate it or at least diminish it to a minimum.Otherwise we soon will be faced with the option of never even writng exams.Mr Chinedu Ugwu sheds a light on this menace and calls for a reflection by all Nigerians.Good job!

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  3. Mr.Ugwu’s write-up is a good representation of the state of Nigeria’s educational status especially where exam malpractice is concerned.I commend his efforts.

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  4. Mr. Chinedu Ugwu’s pragmatic approach on the present educational system in Nigeria is commendable. He lay bare our present plight without baise. But does it necessarily mean that every student in Nigeria is involved in this academic gambling?

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  5. Exam Malpractice erodes self-confidence in students. That is why students who could even write their exams themselves and pass successfully still involve in exam malpractice.

    It starts at the family level. Parents are no longer involved in the academics of their children. They no longer check their children’s classwork and lesson notes. They do not probe if their children attended or dodged classes.

    Unfortunately, same parents who have not invested time in the academics of their children want them to succeed in their exams. Sooner or later, they (parents) realise that it does not work that way. Then, they either give money to these children to hire or pay people directly to write exams for them.

    All parents should be actively involved in the academics of children and stop hiring people to write exams for them. It is only then, this menace can be checked in our society.

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  6. Thanks very much for the opportunity given to me to speak to world.
    This menace has really eating into the educational system of the world.
    Government officials do not give much allocation to the education sector.The little being sent into the sector is being embezzled by the officials in charge.
    Consequently dissuading teachers from giving proper education to the studentds.Therefore encouraging students into malpractice.
    This can be curbed by setting a body investigating on how the money is being spent.
    At least this help the teachers to do their work properly.thereby helping the students prepare well for their exams.
    Also knowing we are in the last days.So I think the only solution is praying to GOD for a solution.

    Reply

    1. That is wonderful,You really addressed the issue that is eating into the fabric of our nations education system,i think the leaders are to be blamed.The corruption started from them,I hope they address it by sending qualified teachers to schools that needs them and having strict supervisors

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  7. i do agree with the fact that students engage in exam malpractices and it has caused a great harm to our country.

    also, this helped me in my research findings for my project.

    thanks.

    Reply

  8. though the write up is a heart worming one, but if the people in power could at least reduce other form of malpractice like AGE REDUCTION, RESULT FALSIFICATION ETC, then ma;practice could be takled with all honesty.thanks for the piece but all hands should be on deck. diamond from university of nigeria nsukka….

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  9. we need serious prayers for this country. the truth is that even the church uncounsciously fail to condemn examination malpractice. the write up is a good mirror.
    let me help with the lis of those involved.
    1 the student
    2 the parents
    3 the school head
    4 the community where the school is located
    5 the waec/neco supervisor
    6 the waec/neco syndicate and
    7 the teacher

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  10. I really do appreciate this write up,but the thing is that nigeria as a country is not helping matters,our so-called Leaders commit all kinds and forms of malpractices, so tell me what do you want the Followers to do,Am i encouraging Malpractise in Nigeria? Hell No!!! The cleansing of this nation start with the leaders afterward the nation’s back and better,that when most of these social vices is reduce to the barest minimum. GOD HELP US………..

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  11. It’s overwhelming to learn that many speak up against the menace of mal-practice. It would really be interesting to note whether the same loud voice would rise to support effotrs by individuals to fight it? This August I undertook a one-man from Aba to Umuahia and was derided by media houses in Aba and Umuahia. In one I was called a mad-man. I undertook one from Kafanchan to Abuja in 2008, carried by the Sun.Will NIgerians welcome such moves and others and encourage a better method of education that promises to eradicate it?

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  12. I really like the write up but pls i need in details the role of the Nigerian mass media in curbing examination malpractice.

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  13. Thanks for that emperical study but i must say that the bear the bulk of the blame by not penalising the offenders as we know that anybody caught doing exam malpractice will serve 21yrs imprisonment,but nobody has ever serve such term so i am imploring the govt to start penalising because it will go a long way reduce examination malpractice to the lowest level.Am Okolo Ann.O frm Unizik,Awka.

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  14. I would like to add something here.I think that any action to stop this menace must have to start from primary and secondary level.We know that exam malpractice can be in any form-giraffing,asking others,entering exam hall with materials,copying on your palm,laps,hanky or clothe,using mobil phones etc.In primary level pupils usually peep or giraffe copying others work which is malpractice yet they wont be punished.Such a pupil will enter secondary level with the same attitude,then he will not only be giraffing but will employ other methods like copying on parts of the body,on clothes and even entering with his notebook,how then do we expect such a student to stop it in tertially level.Ofcourse we know that attitudes and behaviour are not learnt in a day,they are learnt in the gradual process of socialization even our conscience.To put a stop to exam malpractice in Nigeria,our primary and junior secondary institution will have to take serious measures by punishing students caught in the act appropriately.Children has the tendency to avoid whatever will make them to be punished,for it is easy to train or change a child than an adult.Parents and guardians are also important in imbibing good morals to their children especially mothers.I’ve been able to notice that students who are victims of exam malpractice in senior secondary and tertiary institutions are still those who started from primary to engage in some form of malpractice and vice versa.A child trained to believe that only true success is when you read and write your exam on your will always have self-confidence and be proud of himself.Finally exam malpractice can be curbed in Nigeria tertiary institution only if the teachers and parents or guardians will play their part very well.FROM ADAEZE EZEIKE UNIZIK.

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  15. If i may say,examination malpractices in this our country Nig have reached a stage where we don’t only need the help of federal government but also the help of God because it has eaten deep into the fabrics of this our great nation.no need to start saying what examination malpractices is all about because we already knew.The only solution to curb this ugly act called examination malpractice is for the school management to punish any student caught in the act irrespective of minor or major one because in the sight of God sin is sin no matter how small.remember he who forget the language of gratitude will never and ever be on speaking term with happiness.I remain Ezebube Onyiinwa from Unizik

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  16. i think there should be a future without exams. most students get tensed and are left with no option than to cheat- even the clever ones. exams can be done orally and the like, don’t you think?

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  17. Problems only respect solutions. Every man made problem must have a man made solution. Examination malpractice in Nigeria would only bow to its solution, and never to grammar and bulk passing! And the good news is that, there is solution for this perennial and endemic national malady called EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE. If you are positive like me, then kindly please text “POSITIVE” to arokamoni72@yahoo.com and you will join in bringing Nigeria out of the woods of all manners of examination manipulation. See you soon.Kudos to the organizers of this forum. I really hope to partner with you.

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  18. its funny how the rate of examination malpractices is so high in nigeria.I so much love your write up.i just pray that Nigerian students would sit up and read and stop this examination malpractices.

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  19. Thanks for this wonderful article, it should be a must read for every Nigerian because it is a very important information that should be strictly looked into if the image and status of the country and the citizens should be made better.

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  20. many students have lost their vision and confidence all because of this deadly disease and they need to be talked to.

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  21. THE HEAD OF INSTITUTIONS SHOULD KNOW TAHT EXAMINATIONS IS NOT AN NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANOSATION (NGO) IT’S A WAY OF TESTING PEOPLE

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  22. The menace of examination malpractice has become so unbearable that it has been so difficult for the old fashioned anti-malpractice workers to put a stop to it;this article has pointed out ways to fight this devilish VICE,I don’t see the reason why this article can’t be published on paper for easier access!!!GREAT JOB!!!

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  23. It is not enough 2 outline the solutions of this vice known as EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE, every nigerian must take the decision 2 stop the trend. Remember, it is not enough 2 answer a graduate but the ability 2 defend ur degree is what matters.thanks

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  24. the truth you said is the future that we look on to fulfill. Malpractice is an enemy to the vision we are to establish. It brings unconfidence, unqualified, untruthfulness, disobedient, selfishness, limited capability and all the rest of them.
    Mr. Ugwu thanks for this great and sensible write-up, please keep it up it is very good.

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  25. Thank you so much for this work. I will use your writing to write my waec neco or jamb. But the rich are the only one’s engaged in examination malpractice. They say the poor’s life is meaningless and worthless. I’m really flattered knowing that we still have those who care about us in Nigeria.

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  26. Am am delighted to write on the rising menace of malpractise…one of the major cause of these disease that is killing our educational system is the importance people place on paper certificate,you see people of all the age bracket putting in for exams.by this,they would use all cruke methods (i.e malpractice) to make their grades

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  27. The write up was ok. And something has to be done and that early. But i also believe that there are still people who are doing the right thing as far as examination conduct is concern

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  28. Examination malpractice in our society today has developed wings and its already hovering in the nation. This can be eradicated through concerted efforts of the stakeholders and general publib thru sensitization programmes to make students aware of the benefit in preparing 4 exams b4 sitting 4 it.

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  29. Beautiful discourse. However I daresay that not all students are involved in Examination Malpractice cos i for one never engaged in it.

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  30. Nice article…i really appreciate the effort of every one that commented on this lovely article.exam malpractice has cause S̶̲̥̅Ơ̴̴̴̴̴̴͡ much damage to everyone.some people sold their birth right all bcos of mal-practice.but how can we stop it wen even the leaders eat beans.but we need to join hands together and say NO TO EXAM MALPRACTICE but yes to SUCCESS.from gloria a corper. Serving i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ imo state.

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  31. Hmmmn! It is so glaring to the eyes that the issue of examinations malpractice can not be over emphasized. This is because the Nigeria educational sector has failed to carry out its functions effectively by ensuring that only qualified teachers are employed to pass-on sound and qualitative education to the Nigerian child. Why would a student not cheat in an exams when his/her teacher can not construct a simple sense to convince him/her that he is teaching him the right thing.lack of qualified teachers is one the root causes of examination malpractice. As a student why wouldn’t i cheat when i have not been supplied with a sound knowledge. As a mathematics Teacher you telling your student convincingly that 3-1=1 why won’t i write same to you in an exams if asked? Something should don’t urgently to improve our educational sector in order to reduce the rate of examination malpractice please.

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  32. i feel this monster of examination malaise is everywhere in the globe . everyone wants his or her child to be per!! this is evident in kenya as well…..let us all say NO!!!!!! to this kind of practice

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  33. De lord will pay you back chinedu and i also comment on ur effort and wished to contact you my no is 09091152919.

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  34. Nigerians should try to diminish this cankerworm that has eaten deep into the educational system.Beware of exam malpractice

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  35. People cheat exams because at times you may prepare/read very well, yet still fail your exam. I am in 300 Level in UNIBEN. I had to block my courses to pass 200 Level because I probated twice in a row (even though I always used to read in 200 Level)

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  36. I really like this,but my advice is that the number of invigilators and supervisors should be increased in the examination hall.

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  37. I Love your article entitled ‘the Menace of Exam-Malpractice’ Frankly, the article did justice to the scourge exam malpractice.

    My name is EHIOSU ESIGIE. I run an NGO with the name (Network for Exam-Malpractice Eradication in Nigeria. NEMEN) it is based in Benin city, Edo state.

    CONTACT ADDRESS.
    10,Izekor street,
    Behind Total filling station,
    Sapele road,
    Benin City,
    Edo State.
    Email: nemen_info@yahoo.com
    Twitter: @nemen9
    Facebook page: NEMEN
    Phone: 09054900494,08094848024

    Reply

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