- Education and Science
Examination Malpractice and Causes
What Leads to Examination Malpractices?
What Causes Examination Malpractice?
It is painful to hear that there is an increase in examination malpractice by students from different parts of the world. Examination malpractice, also known as cheating, is the illegal action that students take during their examinations to try to make good grades by cutting corners.
The question is: what causes this? Do students cheat because they like doing it? What makes students engage in examination malpractice as if there is no other option?
Examination malpractice has done a lot of harm to students since many of them have neglected their books with the hope of “performing the magic” they are used to performing in every examination. It is rampant in secondary schools, colleges, polytechnics, and universities.
In certain countries, it's no longer a new thing to see people who try to fight cheating actually promote cheating itself. Many students indulge in such practice because they want to achieve academic excellence and get good marks.
The Causes of Examination Malpractice
There is always a reason for any action that another person takes: be it legal or illegal action. Students do not engage themselves in examination malpractices just because they want to do it; rather there are things that lead them to such illegal actions. It has eaten deep into the blood of lazy students and they think that nothing can stop them from playing such a “game”. The causes of examination malpractices among students include laziness, lecturers' and teachers' weaknesses, weak parental functions, personal influence, supervisors’ weakness, lack of self-confidence, and government failure.
This is a menace that many students suffer from. Any student that gets infected by this disease rarely recovers. According to the definition of the word, lazy, from Concise Oxford Dictionary, it is unwillingness to work or use energy. Many students do not want to work hard through studying to make their parents and sponsors proud by graduating with good results. They think that making good results is a bed of roses. That is why they want to pass their examinations through cut-corners, thereby getting involved in examination malpractices. It is one of the major challenges in Nigeria and other countries when it comes to students.
Some students are lazy and derive joy in doing something their parents don't want them to do. They devote most of their time to having fun with their fellow lazy ones and neglect the basic thing, which is their study. Some students forget that education is important to every nation, which is why their parents sent them to school.
They can watch many kinds of films in a day without even having time to look into their books and acquire skills through their study. What of attending parties in many hostels? To attend any party any student wishes is not bad but it becomes a problem when the student forgets the main reason he's there is to study.
Partying is part of student life, but sometimes the lazy ones see it as their only purpose. The only reason they don't attend a party on school premises is either that they did not hear about it or because they traveled. Lazy students should wake up from their slumber to avoid being involved in examination malpractices. Examination malpractices due to laziness only lead to downfall and disaster to those students that indulge in it.
Lecturers' and Teachers' Weaknesses
It's unfortunate to hear that the incapacity of some lecturers and teachers in many parts of the world is one of the causes of examination malpractice. The weakness among lecturers is one of the major problems of the education sector of Africa.
Lecturers do not finish most of the course outlines they have for an academic semester before giving examinations to the students. In some cases, the lecturers even go to the extent of giving examinations to the students even in the areas that they did not teach the students for that academic year. Tell me how students will achieve academic excellence in that situation? As a result, students are compelled to get good grades by hook or by crook. There are also wicked lecturers who enjoy watching their students fail.
What teaching methods do some lecturers or teachers apply when teaching the students in their individual campuses? Do the students really comprehend such a teaching method? Are the teachers qualified to teach students in their individual level? Some teachers do not deserve to be called teachers because they do not look into the method they use in teaching students in their classes.
Some adopt old systems of teaching that are out of fashion and are not meant to be applied in this new world. Anyone that understands teaching need only look at their students to find out if they understand. If the students do not comprehend with such a method, the teacher must apply another method. It is his job to do so because the students pay the teacher fee, so he is not offering the service free of charge.
Many teachers that take care of the students in various schools are not qualified and are not properly trained. This is the reason that some students engage in malpractice during examinations. What can an unqualified lecturer offer to undergraduate students in universities?
Students cannot do well with such services, and this makes them look for other ways to do well in their examinations. This results in examination malpractice that can take the form of smuggling in their notebooks and textbooks into the examination halls.
Is Asking a Friend Questions in the Exam Hall Examination Malpractice?
Weak Parental Functions: A big contributor
It is shameful that some parents do not perform their functions as true parents. Many of them have threatened principals of schools who vowed to fight malpractice to the end. Some primary school students are not really being taken good care of by their parents. Some parents do not encourage their children to work hard and make it on their own. Some parents are careless of the importance of education to nations. This makes the students feel reluctant and as a result, they do not take their studies seriously. Such children grow with this habit and carry it with them into higher institutions. When they get to the institutions and see that things are not easy over there, their next alternative is to indulge in examination malpractice.
Again, some parents do not take good care of their students in terms of sponsoring them financially. They do not give them balanced financial support in their individual institutions. When students are not given the money to buy textbooks for their study, they will not be balanced to enter into examination halls and write their exams. The female students engage in immoral activities in order to make money for their studies thereby neglecting their books because they are always going about offering “back on the ground services” to the young and old men around the campus. This results in malpractice because they do not have time for their books because they were in search of money. Many are willing to achieve academic excellence but are constrained by certain factors.
Single parenthood is another factor that contributes to examination malpractice in many schools worldwide. Because the students are being trained by a single parent, they may engage in other activities to make more money and support their learning. Because of the fact they have divided attention, they do not have enough time to study their books properly.
In some countries where corruption is the order of the day, all students are not given equal treatment. Students who are born by the rich and famous men in the country are favored or allowed to do as they wish, one of the challenges in Nigeria and countries with corrupt education. The daughter of the governor of that state can enter the examination hall with a “white paper” without being shunned by the examination supervisor. She is allowed to cheat because she is the daughter of the governor of the state. But in countries where nobody is above the law, no student of any kind is treated differently, no matter who your parents are in the society. What a pitiable condition.
Their influence in the society gives them the impetus to do as they like. They think they are smart by doing so without understanding the fact that they are harming themselves indirectly. No one can sincerely raise shoulder with the grade he or she got through cut-corners.
Lack of Self-Confidence
Many setbacks that people have in this present world is because they lack self-confidence. In the same angle, students’ engagement in examination malpractice can be traced back to the lack of confidence as well. Self-confidence in this context is when a student believes and has faith that he will make it in examinations without cheating. Many students get involved in malpractice during examinations because they doubt that they can get an excellent result without having a “microchip” attached to their body.
A good student should have faith that he or she will be able to make it in any examination if they've studied for a long time in preparation for the examination. At times, friends are the people that mislead the other to lose faith in what they are capable of doing. A student may be preparing for examination with the hope to write the exam alone as a serious-minded student.
A friend of his who derives joy from malpractice may come in and weaken the good student's resolve. He can enter the room of the serious-minded student and begin to ask him saying: do you think you can make this examination without cheating in the exam? The serious student may answer yes in the initial stage but change his mind later. The “bad student” can deceive the serious one by giving him reasons why he cannot make it without cheating during the exam.
It is discouraging to hear those examination supervisors who are supposed to prevent malpractices in examination halls now promote it. It is not new to hear in some African countries like Nigeria that supervisors encourage malpractices in examination by collecting bribes from students or the candidates that came for examinations. It is a big problem with the education sector of Africa. They also collect bribes from impersonators who write examinations for other candidates. In some cases, these people smuggle out question papers from the halls, get people to solve the questions, and distribute the answers to the exam candidates and collect money in return.
This usually happens during examinations that grant access to students who want admission into tertiary institutions, University Matriculation Examinations (UME). This false means of securing marks to be admitted into universities or polytechnics makes the students start messing up in their individual departments when they become finally admitted. It is one of the main reasons why many Nigerian graduates cannot defend themselves. On the other hand, truthful students suffer because sometimes they score lower marks than those who cheated, even if they know more. In other word, examinations are no longer the true test of knowledge in countries whose examination supervisors are corrupt.
This point houses a lot of things. The government bears the bulk of the blame when it comes to examination malpractice. They do not pay attention to the students in their country, though this is exceptional in a few countries. The truth remains that the number of governments that fail in their duties is more.
How equipped are the laboratories and mechanical workshops used by the technical students? There should be practical youth empowerment among youth in tertiary institutions for easy understanding.
The government does not provide or send strong supervisors to various examinations conducted in many countries. This makes it easy for the students to enter examination halls with “microchips” because they know that nobody will give them a tough time. If governments are serious about fighting malpractice of any form during examinations, they should make it their duty to send strong regulators during examinations in various schools across the country.
The kind of teachers and lecturers that the government employs in many schools and universities is also another cause of examination malpractice. They, the government, do not employ qualified teachers to teach the students. This pushes students to be part of malpractice because they are not taught properly by their teachers and lecturers. What of punishment those found guilty of examination malpractice? No matter the class of offense committed, the offender should be punished. This policy or Law is passed out in some countries without any implementation. Governments should be serious and punish any student that does anything against the law when it comes to malpractice. This punishment will make others learn their lesson and stop such an act.
Any student that takes part in examination malpractice indirectly devalues his or herself. Students engage in examination malpractice thinking that they are smart without knowing that they are harming themselves. Of what importance will it be to a student who cannot defend the certificate he acquired from where he studied? We must fight examination malpractice together. Some of the causes of examination malpractice as discussed are laziness, lecturers and teachers weaknesses, weak parental functions, personal influence, supervisors’ weakness, lack of self-confidence, and government failure. As a teacher, I advise you to say no to examination malpractice of any kind and to fight it if given any opportunity to your location.
- Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Malpractice, retrieved June 28, 2017
- Wikipedia, Academic Dishonesty, retrieved June 28, 2017
- Uzochukwu Mike (2013), Challenges in Nigeria and Solutions on how to resolve them, Hubpages Inc, United States
- Uzochukwu Mike (2013), Education Sector of Africa: Problems and Solutions, Hubpages Inc, United States