MEASURES PUT IN PLACE BY THE STATE GOVERNMENT IN CONTROLLING EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.0 Background of the Study.
Examination malpractice as defined by West African Examination Council WAEC (2003) as any irregular behaviour exhibited by a candidate or anybody charged with the responsibility of conducting examination in or outside examination halls, before, during or after such examination. This study agrees with this definition and adopts it as the operational definition of examination malpractices in this study. The study therefore intends to assess government measures for controlling irregular behaviours of all sorts in the examination hall. Many of these irregular behaviours or misconducts are observed in the conduct of examinations in Ekiti State and have reached an alarming rate within the last decade. Examination malpractice is considered as an act of wrongdoing or neglect that is capable of contravening the rules, standards, norms and can distort the accuracy of assessment. Although examinations are not the only parameters for assessing and evaluating knowledge, it has emerged as the major established yardstick and the most practical way of academic evaluation in Nigeria and has been the yardstick for measuring academic achievement and certification in Nigeria. The over dependence on certificates and success in examinations as the key criterion for qualification for employment and further education has led to a crazy rush to acquire certificates by most people either legitimately or illegitimately, especially through different types of examination malpractices including forging of certificates. In recent times, examination malpractice have assumed an alarming trend in Nigeria, probably due to candidate‟s fear of failure, lack of confidence, laziness, and inadequate preparations and most often, their inability to study effectively. Examination malpractice has become a major challenge to examination and supervisory bodies, especially the government of Ekiti State, school administrators and parents alike. The hues and cries about examination malpractices at all level of the Nigerian educational system is nothing but a reflection of the society.
Nwali (2000) in his opinion viewed examination malpractices as economic waste, since cancelled papers will involve extra papers, security, time, money and logistics to repeat. Responsible parents and society as a whole feel disappointed when their children trained to be good leaders and professionals come back empty only to become misfits and touts. Ekiti state Government in 2005 instituted disciplinary measures to curb examination malpractices. The principals of all schools in Ekiti State were given two years to improve in the delivery of instructions in their schools or face the music. This was as a result of Dan Nwogah‟s Committee‟s report 2004 on Poor Educational Development in Ekiti State. The committee reported that many students have been found academically weak which were traceable to the faulty foundations in their education. Currently Ekiti especially stake holders are worried that those principals who were expected to improve instructional delivery in their schools, have turned to be agents of successful cheatings in examinations. Some of these principals were retired while others were queried or sanctioned by the state Education Authority. This implies that Ekiti State has been enforcing discipline among the school authorities in the state with regard to classroom instruction so as to curb examination malpractices. This study intends to investigate the extent to which these disciplinary measures helped in controlling examination malpractices in the state. The free and compulsory education that commenced in 1999 increased school population at un-imaginable rate. Ijaiya (2004) complained of large population of many schools. The state Government therefore, ordered various educational departments to provide enough classrooms and examination halls to ensure proper spacing between students during examinations. It enforced a teacher student ratio of 1:50.
Other measures included government polices to moderate admissions to private schools, sanctions for examination cheats, such as blacklisting schools and the principals, suspension, expulsions, withdrawal of certificates, cancellation of results of the schools among others. Also some motivational measures include improved conditions of services of the teachers, reduction of unemployment among graduates to reduce the effects of mercenaries and impersonations during examinations. The setting up of special committee to hand over schools to voluntary agencies and organization of seminars, workshops, for teachers and students, on the implications of examination malpractice. This study is therefore interested to investigate the extent to which these supervisory measures have worked in the state secondary schools.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Examination malpractices have been a serious menace to the Nigerian educational system and to Ekiti state in particular. Many people still argue and emphasize that the escalating causes of examination malpractices in Ekiti State is as a result of undue emphasis on paper qualifications. Apparently examination malpractices, seem to become the most available instrument to secure jobs and admissions to catch up with other educationally advantaged states. This is one of the challenges faced by the state government which currently tried to take the bull by the horn by instituting various measures to control examination malpractices in the state secondary schools.
The government observed that reading cultures had declined very much in Ekiti state secondary schools. It was also noted that syllabuses in many subjects such as physics, chemistry, and biology were usually not covered before external examination in the state. Students seem not worried because corrupt invigilators and supervisors were willing to help at the least price. The parents who eventually raised examination registration fees either by borrowing with high interest or saved thriftily for years were prepared to deploy any means to assist their wards to pass these examinations to avoid paying for another registration. From the above it could be concluded that the state government had put in a lot of material resources in their fight against examination malpractice. The problem of this study put in a question form is: to what extent is the success of the assessment of the implementation of government measures for controlling examination malpractice in Ekiti State?
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which measures put in place by the state government in controlling examination malpractices in secondary schools have succeeded. Specifically the study will identify the extent to which:
- Disciplinary measures have succeeded in controlling examination malpractices in the state secondary schools.
- Motivational measures of government have controlled examinational malpractices in the state secondary schools.
- Supervisory measures by the government have controlled examination malpractices in the state.
- Religious measures by government have controlled examination malpractices in secondary schools in Ekiti State.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions are posed to guide the study:-
- To what extent have disciplinary measures controlled examination malpractices?
- To what extent has motivational measures succeeded in controlling examination malpractices?
- To what extent do supervisory measures control examination malpractices in the state?
- To what extent do religious measures control examination malpractices?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
Ho1: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of principals and teachers with regard to the extent to which disciplinary measures control examination malpractices.
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of principals and teachers with regard to the extent to which motivational measures control examination malpractices.
Ho3: There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of principals and teachers with regard to the extent to which supervisory measures control examination malpractices in Ekiti State secondary schools.
Ho4: there is no significant differences in the mean ratings of principals and teachers with regard to the extent to which religious measures control examination malpractices.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings from this study will be of immense benefits to the following: Federal and State Ministries of Education, examining bodies WAEC, NECO, JAMB, Parents and the society. By this research, parents, governments and the entire society would be aware that collapsed buildings, distressed banks, folded companies, and others which are probably the manifestation of examination malpractices which have defied various measures especially in Ekiti state. This study on assessing the Examination Control Measures in Ekiti State will help various organizations like Anticorruption crusaders, Examination Ethics council, religious organizations and others to understand the issues, scopes, strengths, weaknesses of examination control mechanism in the state and probably diversify their control techniques.
The findings of the study will help the government of Ekiti State and the secondary school authorities to find out the result of their efforts so far, so as to re-strategize and give a final blow to the hydra headed monster examination malpractices in the secondary schools in the state.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The geographical scope of this work covers all the state secondary schools in four education zones in Ekiti state. It does not include private secondary schools federal and state or unity schools in the state. However it covers all forms of secondary schools including technical school and vocational schools owned by the state government. The content scope includes environmental, motivational, supervisory, disciplinary, religious and administrative measures for controlling examination malpractices in public secondary schools in Ekiti State.
The literature review of the study is presented under the following sub-headings: conceptual framework, theoretical framework, review of empirical studies and summary of the review.
2.0 The Concept of Examination
According to Oluyeba and Baramola in Adeyegbe (2002), examination malpractice is an irregular behaviour or act committed by a candidate or anybody entrusted with the responsibility of conducting examinations in or outside examination halls. Interestingly Okafor (2004), perceived examination malpractice as a deviation from the modalities of examination such that results obtained are unfair assessment of the abilities and knowledge or skills acquired by individuals concerned. This definition underscores the damage examination malpractice can do to individuals and society. Nwogo (1987), referred to examination malpractice as a departure of staff or students from the laid down examination regulations. A fair discussion of examination malpractice and measures to eradicate it cannot be effectively done without a cursory view of the Federal Government National policy on education (FRN, 2004). The Policy and curriculum were designed to provide a guide that would enhance and facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Having provided the facilities for teaching and learning processes, adequate arrangements were also made through educational evaluations, to determine whether or not, desirable changes had taken place in the learner.
Therefore, examination is a formal test of knowledge of a person, his skill or ability in a particular subject at a given time. The assessment can be informal, formal, or related practical exercises. Examination is also an instrument for assessing, evaluating and accrediting students for the purposes of selection, placement, promotion and certification. The term examination is an inevitable measure of abilities in literate and illiterate environment. As such, a credible examination must possess key elements as validity and reliability. These elements could be achieved if the examination is free and fair, devoid of cheating, pranks and all sorts of malpractices. Lodeji (2005) in Okoye (1986) maintained that examination is a system applied by teachers to assess if what was taught had been leant or the evaluation of their methods and to make decisions and modifications if necessary. In this regard, teachers use examination as an instrument for evaluating learning process and in making vital decisions. Other experts regarded examination as an organized assessment technique, which present individuals with series of questions geared towards ascertaining the individuals acquired skills, abilities and knowledge to utilize them effectively. This is probably why Okoye (1986) perceived examination as the test of acquired potentials. In an academic or professional context, examinations are tests, which aim at determining the ability of a student or a prospective learner.
Examinations are usually written tests, although some may be practical or have practical components, and vary greatly in structures, contents and difficulties depending on the subject and the age of the tested persons and the profession. Fagbemi (2002) considered examination as oral, practical or written exercises administered on learners to ascertain existing skills and competencies. It provides vital pieces of information on the state of the overall educational attainment of the examinee. This is in reference to the Wheeler‟s Curriculum Model, which recognized as part of teaching and learning processes in any educational industry.
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