THE EFFECT OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OGOJA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF CROSS RIVER STATE Abstract The value and functionality of any educational system lie in its ability to actualize the goals of education. In educational systems, world over, the examination process makes the difference. The goals of national educational systems and indeed national development become like mirage if examination ethics is not encouraged and instituted (Nwadiani, 2005). Till date, examinations still remain the best tool for an objective assessment and evaluation of what learners have achieved after a period of schooling. Hence, any action that undermines examinations poses a great threat to the validity and reliability of examination results and certification In Nigeria, the last two decades have witnessed an alarming rate of increase in incidents of examination misconduct especially at secondary school level. Evidences abound of increasing incidents of examination malpractice by students, teachers and parents. Examination malpractice has become so widespread that there is virtually no examination anywhere at all levels and even outside the formal school system that there is no one forms of sharp practice or the other. Every examination season witnesses the emergence of new and ingenious ways of cheating. This project work addresses the problem of examination malpractice in secondary schools in Nigeria, what sustains it, the consequences of examination malpractice and the ways through which examination malpractice could be curbed in order to give credibility to the examination process in the country. CHAPTER ONE Introduction Background of the study Examination is the term that refers to an organized testing procedure, which yields information that can be used for evaluating a candidate, or a test or examination is an assessment intended to measure a test-takers knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics (example, beliefs). A test may be administered orally, on paper, on a computer, or in a confined area that requires a test taker to physically perform a set of skills. Examination may be classified into various ways; may be describe as formative or summative, internal or external, verbal or non-verbal, formal or informal examination and so on, the essence of taking examination is to enable the school authority; parents and students concentrate in order to pass tier examination. The issue of examination malpractice is one of the major problems confronting Nigerian educators today. The search for solution to cases of examination malpractice in our institution is therefore timely. Ahmed (199) observed that there was evidence that examination malpractice existed in the pre-independence era as far back as 1910. It has been noted that the first recorded incident of examination malpractice in Nigeria was the leakage of the Cambridge school certificate examination in 1914. Ahmed confirms that further irregularities in public examination kecured in 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1981, and 1991 were said to have call the attention of the federal government, this subsequently Sebegtan and Ojo tribunals required to investigate the extent of leakage. Similarly, Decree so was eventually promulgated in 1984 to punish the examinees or examiners found guilty. Yet malpractice of all kind have continued to surface, to the extent that students no longer see it as a serious offence. Examination malpractice makes the objects by competence, skills, job displacement and diagnosis of academic failure useless. One of the major effects of examination malpractice is that, students not tend to be lazy and gradually the culture of learning in our educational institutions is been eroded. Examination malpractice is a major challenge confronting the Nigeria education system in this twenty first century. Examination malpractice is any act by student invigilators, examiners, lecturers etc. that contravenes the ethics of examination and result in a dearth of credibility of any assessment. The federal ministry of education (2007) defined examination malpractices as “any act of integrity of any assessment or evaluation system.” In 1973, the gravity of irregularities at public examination caused member countries of the west African examination council much concern to extent that the then federal military government had to promulgate a decree spelling out penalties for unethical behaviours at the then West African school certificate examination. For instance, unethical behaviour such as illegal use of live question paper and impersonation were punishable by fine of N 2,000,00 or five years imprisonment or both, (Nwana, 1982). In 1984, the Federal Government of Nigeria enacted the famous decree 20-miscellaneous offences, which stipulates a 21 years imprisonment without any option of fine for anyone caught in any form of examination malpractice. In such attendant punishments one should expect to have an end to examination leakages but unfortunately it is to no avail. Examination malpractice permeates both internal and public examination. There have been known cases of school teachers set question for their student favorites before the actual examination are conducted. There are cases of dons passing female undergraduates because of some extra academic activities between them (Eze, 1982). Statement of the Problem Cheating at public examination has assumed larger and frightening dimension. Recent investigations suggest that examination malpractices are no longer the handwork of candidates alone, but a syndicated operation involving communities, schools authorities and invigilators. So, these are many issues that lead to examination malpractice. Some of them are financial position of parents or guardians, the student personal carelessness and not attending classes regularly, influence of bad friends, the environment of learning when it is not conducive, lack of qualified teachers in the schools, poor administration, lack of libraries in the school, lack of good laboratories in schools and so on. The persistent occurrence of examination malpractices has been a major concern to educationists (Aghenta, 2000; Ige, 2002). Despite the high premium placed on examinations by the National Policy on Education (FGN, 2004), it seems that examination malpractices have not been properly addressed in, Nigeria. Common observations have shown that there is mass cheating in public examinations in the State. Nothing concrete has been done to reduce the problem except the cancellation of results for a particular centre or the withholding of results in certain subjects. The problem of the study was that finding a lasting solution to the issue of examinations malpractices among secondary school students Nigeria Purpose of the Study The main purpose of the study is to investigate the causes and attitude of undergraduate students toward examination malpractice in Cross River State-Nigeria. This study is also designed to investigate consequences of examination malpractice on academic performance of students, and the effect of examination malpractice on academic performance of both male and female students. Specifically, the study seeks to fine if: 1. Student factor in terms of examination malpractice relate to their academic achievement. 2. Teacher factor in terms of examination malpractice relate to their academic achievement. 3. Parent factor in terms of examination malpractice relate to their academic achievement. 4. Society factor in terms of examination malpractice relate to their academic achievement. Research Questions In order to carry out this study, the following research questions are posed; 1. How does student factor in terms of examination malpractice relate to their academic achievement? 2. To what extent does Teacher factor in terms of examination malpractice relate to their academic achievement? 3. Does parent factor in terms of examination malpractice relate to their academic achievement? 4. What is society factor in terms of examination malpractice relate to their academic achievement. Hypothesis In order to answer the question posed for the study, the following hypotheses are formulated to guide the study. 1. There is no significant relationship between undergraduate attitudes in terms of examination malpractice on academic achievement. 2. There is no significant relationship between lectures attitude in terms of examination malpractice on academic achievement. 3 There is no significant relationship between parent attitudes in terms of examination malpractice on academic achievement. Significant of the study Denga (1988) lamented that “if education is a major means of providing the intellectual yeast to constitute social, economic, political and technical development of Nigeria, then more serious effects should be made to curb malpractice that tend to pollute our educational system”. Therefore, the study will help undergraduate students to change their attitude and perception in all aspect of examination malpractice. It will also help the students to know that, there more knowledge in concentrating than cheating. The study will also help the lecturers to play their roles very well for the eradication of examination malpractice in higher institutions of learning. Scope of the study It should be noted that the study of this significances should cover the whole country. Nevertheless, due to the constraint of time and resources, the researcher has decided to limits its coverage to Cross River University of technology. The researcher covered undergraduate, lecturers, and perants attitudesss. Again, the research involves only one hundred and forty students (140) in junior secondary schools, three and two (JSS III and II). It also limited to the effect of examination malpractice on academic attainment of students. Definition of terms Examination: This is a term refers to an organized testing procedure, which yields information that can be used for evaluating a candidate. Malpractice: This is defined as the wrong doing misconduct or dishonesty or improper practice, for personal gain or violation of rules and regulations for personal gain. Examination malpractice: This is defined as the wrong doing in examination, misconduct or dishonesty or improper practice of examination for personal gain. Simple put as violating the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of examination. Or examination and regulations guiding the conduct of an examination.
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