The importance of education in our nation cannot be overemphasized or underestimated. This is because it helps in the all-round growth and development of an individual as well as the society at large.
If we fail to uphold the principle of proper education, all we would be left with is unsatisfactory individuals being stirred out of our educational institutions.
The fact that the world today is a global village means that products of Nigerian institutions will tend to contend with students from other parts of the world in spite of their nonchalant attitude and lack of seriousness towards education. Teachers and authorities have plagued the educational sector over the years.
The Nigerian student has to prove that in a country stigmatized and often referred to as being corrupt, and also with a dilapidated educational system, can stand at par or shoulders above peers from other nations.
However, the problem with the falling standard of education is ”Examination Malpractice”.
This can be defined as an action taken before, during or after an examination that can render the results invalid.
This could involve entering the exam hall with foreign materials, copying another candidate, impersonation, exchanging answer booklets, inappropriate conversations, examiner bribery, amongst others.
Someone asked whether it is possible to end examination malpractice in Nigeria? Before I answer the question, I asked what made him say that, and he shared his story.
He told me when he wanted to rewrite WAEC in 2015, he enrolled in a private school in order to pass the exam. He said he was told that private schools have a good reputation when it comes to O’Level examination compared to a public school. The only difference – you pay more in private schools.
When the examination started, the invigilator left the school premises and the chemistry teacher wrote all the solution for them on the board. Two hours later, the WAEC invigilator came back and asked if they are through. He collected every answer booklet from the students and left with a brown envelope that indicated a bribe.
Examination malpractice is very rampant in our educational system in Nigeria. The disappointing part, it is both in the public or private school sector. Examination malpractice starts from primary to secondary school and still continues at the tertiary level. Examination malpractice leads to corruption later on in life.
Ways to Minimize Examination Malpractice
- Schools should employ good teachers: I observe that some schools have incompetent teachers. Some teachers don’t know how to teach. Teaching is a form of communication that entails passing knowledge. If the teacher lacks good communication skills, it would be very difficult for students to learn.
- Parents instigation: Some parents instigate their children to be part of examination malpractice. Even some parents pay money for their children in order to pass. They call it runs. That’s so sad. I think if parents can stop encouraging their children by paying for their examinations runs, it would minimize the high rate of examination malpractice. Students would sit tight and pass.
- There should be penalties for examiners/invigilators by the government: I think most of our examiners are the anchor of examination malpractices. Immediately they’ve been offered a little amount of money, they allow the students to indulge in examination malpractice. If there is a heavy penalty (let’s say 20 years imprisonment) by the government, the rate of examination malpractice will reduce as well.
- Computer-based examination: When the high rate of examination malpractice is unbearable for JAMB, they adopt the computer-based examination which has helped tremendously in reducing the high rate of examination malpractice. I think the government can implement this in every school.
A better Nigeria starts with corrupt-free students. If the leaders of tomorrow are taking the easiest route to success, what becomes of the nation’s tomorrow?
Think about it.