This study was conducted to investigate the extent of teachers’ involvement in examination malpractice in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The population of the study consisted of six hundred and forty eight (648) teachers in the Government owned secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. Survey research was used for the research design and simple random sampling techniques were used to select the subject for the study which is two hundred and twenty four (224) teachers. Four (4) research questions guided the study. The questionnaire was used in data collection and mean was used in data analysis. A mean of 2.50 and above was adopted as a cutoff mark for the acceptance of the items. The results or rather the findings showed that teachers are actively involved in examination malpractice. Based on this, some implications of the study and recommendations were made.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Examination according to Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary (6th Edition) is a formal test of somebody‘s knowledge or ability in a particular subject, especially by means of written questions or practical exercises. Examination (6th Edition of Oxford Dictionary) is the action of inspecting something or somebody in detail or it is a close inspection of something or somebody or an inquiry into something. According to Oyatoye (2004) examination (oral or written) is an evaluative process that assesses the whole process and operations in an educational endeavor. He went further to explain that examination enables an assessment of the curriculum content, the instructor, the method of instruction, the environment of the instruction and the capability of the learner. Examination, he continued, is usually given by a teacher, tutor, or an instructor to a class or individual students or learners to determine the amount and quality of learning acquired. Examination is an important instrument which a teacher uses to access the extent to which his instructional objectives have been achieved. Examiners, invigilators (supervisors) and teachers use examination as a device for sorting out students’ academic ability. Examination is the process through which students are evaluated or tested to find out the quality of knowledge they have acquired within a specific period, (Balogun, 1999).
Examination could be internal or external. It could be oral, written or both. Examples of internal examinations are continuous assessment tests, terminal, semester and annual or promotion examinations. Alternatively, external(public)examinations that are common in Nigeria schools are common entrance examination for admission into secondary schools, School certificates examination which are conducted by West African Examination Council(WAEC) and National Examination Council(NECO).The Joint Admission Matriculation Board(JAMB) and National Teachers Institute(NTI) conduct admission test into tertiary institutions while the National Business and Technical Examination Board(NABTEB) conducts professional examinations for teachers and technicians respectively.
There is a pest which destroys the quality of education in our country today which is known as mal practice or (misconduct) which takes place during examination. In the same light, according to Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary (2004, 6th Edition), malpractice is a careless, wrong or illegal behaviour while in a professional job. According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary
English (2004, revised Edition), malpractice is an unlawful activity, usually carried out for personal advantage by a position of trust or responsibility of something.
In Nigeria today, according to Isa (2006), there has been an increasing occurrences of examination malpractices among students at all levels of education. According to Nwahunanya (2004), examination malpractice refers to act of omission or commission intended to make a student pass examination without relying absolutely on his/her independent ability or resources.
Odongbo (2002) stated that examination malpractice refers to acts of wrong doing carried out by a candidate or groups of candidates or any other person with the intention to cheat and gain unfair advantage in an examination.
What examination malpractice aims at is the defeat of the primary goal of examination, which among others is the grading or classification of performance. Educational system usually prescribes for itself, specific objectives, which it expects students to attain, thereby demonstrating that education has taken place. In other words, examination malpractice is an activity that aims at preventing educational system from knowing or determining the true quality of our products by devious manipulation. Such malpractice includes the leakage and exposition of examination questions before the examination the suspension or relaxation of vigil by invigilators, the dictation or provision of answers for the students, copying from relevant material or textbooks, impersonation, talking, spying or giraffing and so on.
When examination does not take its proper method, people say it has been malpractice. This malpractice of examination takes place as a result of poor and inefficient supervisors, invigilators and teachers at whose trust the responsibilities of examination are placed, are interested in carrying out some unhealthy and fraudulent behavior due to their selfish advantage. Without the involvement of teachers, supervisors or invigilators, the issue of examination malpractices would have been impossible.
After the Nigerian civil war of 1970 hardly hard any year passed without some published incidents of teachers or students involvement in examination malpractice. In post-primary schools, it has been alleged that students use various means and method to malpractice examination conditions to their advantages though this is possible only when their teachers or supervisors support or back them up. Cheating has gone from peeping in the examination into another person’s script to an actual exchange of scripts, teachers writing for their students(impersonation), leakage of examination paper prior to examination, external assistance, writing the answers on the blackboard dictation during examination, illegal candidate(mercenary)electronic assistance, using phones, pagers etc, smuggling white papers 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 script.(Ugwu, 2008).
Various education councils have adopted measures to be able to combat this phenomenon. Uzoh (2007), observed that teachers and supervisors are the one aiding and abating examination malpractice in Nigeria They should be limited to the setting of questions and marking.
Ugwu Chinedu a final year student of university of Ibadan stated that the issue of examination malpractice is done with the support of some unscrupulous parents and corrupt system of national life. He traced the root cause of examination malpractices in the country to unnecessary degree of societal emphasis on paper qualifications, certificate and passing examination all cost by both the teachers’ students and parents.
The head of national office, and West African Examination Council, registrar, Mr. Iyi Uwadiae in (2011) stressed that that the body has made arrangement to ensure hitch-free examination in the coming season. He also opined that one of the priorities of the year is stemming the unfortunate scourge of examination malpractice in order to protect the sanctity of their certificate. The council has expended so many resources in campaigning against examination malpractice. All these measures they used to eradicate examination malpractice proved abortive.
It is unfortunate that there should be malpractice in examination at all; more unfortunate still is that teachers are involved in the malpractice. The researchers prompted by the urge to ascertain the veracity of the teachers involvement in examination malpractice embarked on the study of the extent of teachers involvement in examination malpractice in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite all these instances of cancellation, reprimanding and prosecution used by the West African Examination Council and other government agencies, teachers still involve themselves in examination malpractice. This has led to an increased rate of examination malpractice from year to year despite attempts to eradicate it. Some involve themselves due to non-payment of salaries. This has damaged the good reputations of some schools and transfer of teachers from the urban to the rural areas. So it is an evil which has retarded the growth of education and should be stopped.
Consequently, the need arises to examine the extent of teachers’ involvement in examination malpractice in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The intended purpose of the study is to examine:
- The extent teachers are involved in releasing the question papers before the examinations.
- How teachers impersonate students during the examination.
- The extent teachers deliberately show laxity in the supervision or invigilation of examination.
- The extent teachers exchange scores for money from parents or students before, during and after examination.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
When completed, the findings of this work will be of value to the educational administrators, West African Examination Council (WAEC), teachers, students and Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State.
Educational administrators will benefit from this study, as it will expose how each sex contributes to examination malpractice. They will know the adequate punitive measure to be given to culprits which will serve as a deterrent to other teachers.
The results of this study will be of great importance to West African Examination Council by making them aware of how the teachers contribute to examination malpractice with a view of stopping it. Also they will then know the caliber of teachers to employ as their supervisors or invigilators.
Teachers will also benefit from this study as it will make them understand their faults and mistakes. They will then get to know how they contribute in the devaluation of the standard of education.
Students through this study will get to know the disadvantages they gain from examination malpractices. They will try as much as possible to benefit from education and knowledge acquired over a period of time instead of losing on the long run.
Furthermore, the result of this is likely to be of great importance to the Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State, so that they will know how best to motivate and reward these secondary school teachers to enable them reject any financial assistance from the public in connection with examination malpractice.
In conclusion, the parents as well are not left aside, for it will be an eye opener to the parents who involve themselves in examination malpractice to see the doom they are leading their children into, through their supportive measures. In other words, it will be of useful value to parents in helping to guide their children not only in their social and financial lives but also in their physical, mental, spiritual and educational lives. It will go a long way helping many parents avoid by passing proper procedure for admission of their children to learning institution and bribing their children into the school, all these need urgent solution.
The following research questions were formulated as guide to this study.
- To what extent do teachers involve themselves in leakage of examination question papers before the examination?
- How far do teachers impersonate students during the examination?
- In which extent do teachers deliberately show laxity in the supervision or invigilation of examinations?
- To what extent do teachers exchange scores for money from parents or students?
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study is to find out the extent of teachers’ involvement in examination malpractice in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The leakage of examination question papers, impersonation by teachers, the exchange of scores for money to teachers by parents or students and the extent of laxity of teachers in supervisions or invigilations of examinations.