1.1 Background to Study
One of the major problems confronting
educational institutions especially secondary school in Nigeria is
examination malpractice. It is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into
the fabric of the society, and it has become so rampant among secondary
school students in Nigeria that many regard it as a normal process of
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 0 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
actions that undermines examinations poses a great threat to the
validity and reliability of ex animation results and certification.
Unfortunately, the process of
examination in Nigeria secondary schools especially in Lagos State has
become a "contemporary shame" (Nwadiani, 2005). This is because of the
phenomenon of examination malpractice that has become endemic in the
educational system. The Examination Malpractice Act (1999) explains
examination malpractice as any act of omission r commission by a person
who in anticipation of, before during or after any examination
fraudulently secure an unfair advantage for himself or any other person
in such a manner that contravenes the rules and regulations to the
extent of undermining the validity, reliability, authenticity of the
examination and ultimately the integrity of the certificates issued.
Oluyeba and Daramola (cited in Alutu & Aluede, 2006) remarked that
examination malpractice is any irregular behaviour exhibited by a
candidate or anybody charged with the conduct of examination before,
during or after the examination that contravenes the rules regulations
governing the conduct of such examination.
In Nigeria, the last two decades have
witnessed an alarming rate of increase in incidents of examination
misconduct among secondary school students. Evidences abound of
increasing involvement in examination malpractice by students, teachers
and parents (Vanguard, 2005; Weekend Pointer, 2005; Daily Independent,
2004). The incidence of examination malpractice has become so widespread
that there is virtually no examination anywhere at all levels and
outside the formal school system that there is no one form of sharp
practice or the other.
The incidences of examination
malpractice are common everywhere and every examination season witnesses
the emergence of new and ingenious ways of cheating. Though
examination malpractice is neither a recent phenomenon nor is it
peculiar to Nigeria or Africa (Awanbors, 2005), the alarming rate of
increase is a global issue. The alarming rate of increase in examination
malpractice in secondary schools in Nigeria calls for concern from all
stakeholders in the education sector. It h s been widely reported that
parents and teachers aid and abet examination malpractice directly or
indirectly. (Vanguard, 2005; Weekend Pointer, 2005; Daily Independent,
2004 Nigerian Tribune, 2009). Parents go to the extent of bribing their
way through to ensure that their wards get unearned grades while
teachers encourage examination malpractice because they lack the zeal to
work but want to be praised for job not done (Alutu & Aluede,
2006). According to Omoluabi and Uzoka 2006), the value system in
Nigeria has broken down completely and so adults and youths alike act
without moral scruples. This is the reason why examination malpractice
still thrives despite its grave consequences on the social political and
economic structures of the nation.
Although the efforts seem to be yielding
some results, yet incidences of examination malpractice still feature
prominently in the school system.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The educational system in Nigeria has
many problems but examination malpractice constitutes one of the
greatest because it threatens the very foundation of the system.
Students' engagement n examination malpractice constitutes not only a
deviant behaviour, but also affects the reliability of examination
certificate issued to those students who engage In examination The sole
reliance upon examination results t day in Nigeria has made students to
see examination certificates as the only way out of their 'misery'.
Therefore, the resort to various corrupt practices to achieve
'successes' in examination. But will not be able to defend and justify
it. Similarly, they will not be able to confront adequately the
challenges of later life. Such examination mischief makers are
liabilities to any employer and the society in general.
It has severally been argued that
examination malpractice is just one aspect of general moral decadence in
the society. But as Onyechere (1996) pints out that, the educational
system must rise above moral decadence since it holds the only hope for
the transformation of youth and for future political, social and
economic sanity. The continuous existence of examination malpractice in
Lagos State Senior Secondary Schools, resulting into perceived fall in
standard of education calls for very great concern among stakeholders in
the education industry. There are reported cases of principals' sale of
school properties, embezzlement of school fees and unclaimed salaries
of retired, dead or transferred teachers. There are also series of
report about teachers and principals collecting money from students for
the award of inflated marks and aiding and abetting examination
malpractice in the writing of Junior and Senior School, Certificate
In the words of the Lagos State
Commissioner of Education (2004:3) it has been reported that some
principals and Headmasters are still collecting unauthorized levies from
unsuspecting parents and innocent children. In the light of the above
observation certain pertinent questions could be asked. Could the
present laxity and unseriousness on the part of students, tea her and
principals be attributed to ineffective implementation of the aims and
objective of examination malpractice Act in Nigeria especially in Lagos
Therefore from the above statement of
problems the researcher aim is to determine the principal management
behaviour and examination malpractice in Lagos State secondary schools
using Agege Local Government as a case study.
1.3 Objective of the Study
To attain decline or departure from
examination malpractice in the country, the researchers embarked on this
study to achieve the following objectives.
The general objective of the study is to
determine the principal behaviour and examination malpractice in Lagos
State senior secondary school.
The specific objectives are as follows:
i. To determine the causes, consequences of examination malpractices among senior secondary school in Lagos state.
ii. To examine the extent to which principal management behaviour in secondary has affected examination malpractices.
iii. To identify through a model the
unethical examination management practices that tend to sustain
examination malpractices in Lagos State.
iv. To examine the impact of examination malpractices on educational standard in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
Base on the above mentioned problem is the following research questions were raised and answered in this study
i. What are examination malpractices?
ii. To what extent have examination malpractices affect educational standard in Nigeria?
iii. Is there any relationship between principal management behaviour and malpractices In senior secondary school?
iv. Do policy measures put in place by the government really helped to curb examination malpractices in Nigeria?
v. What are the possible solutions to these problems of examination malpractices in Lagos state?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
To achieve the objectives stated above, the following hypothesis will be tested.
Ho: There is no
significant relationship between principal's autocratic management
behavior and examination malpractice in Lagos state senior secondary
Ho: There is no cant
relationship between principal's democratic management behavior and
examination malpractice in Lagos State senior secondary school.
Ho: There is no
significant relationship between laisez faire management behavior and
examination malpractice in Lagos state senior secondary.
Ho: There is no
significant relationship between situational management behaviour and
examination malpractice in Lagos state senior secondary schools.
1.6 Significance of the Study
As Nigeria gears up towards the year
2020, to emerge as one of the 20 largest and strongest economics in
African, she requires a sound and dynamic manpower. Unless examination
malpractice is phased out, the country may not achieve vision 2020, d
the United Nations (UN), may not achieve its Millennium Development
Goals, MDG in Nigeria too. This study will be of benefits in the
The project will be of benefit,
first and foremost to the ministry of education in Lagos state because
it will expose to them potential cause of examination malpractices in
the state. Secondly, this study will go a long way to help the
government formulate policy that will eradicate to the level of
examination malpractice in the country. Thirdly, this project will be
useful in various institutions especially secondary school management
(principals), for gaming greater knowledge and understanding of the
problems of examination malpractices on educational standard in the
country. Finally, it will be of great value to students as a point of
reference and will equally form the basis for further research study on
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study focuses on examination
malpractice as a global phenomenon, with specific emphasis on principal
management behaviour and examination malpractice in senior secondary
school in Lagos State. The researcher intends to cover only en senior
secondary schools in Agege local government Area to assess the principal
management behaviour and examination malpractice and its impact to the
educational standard in senior secondary school in Lagos State.
1.8 Limitations to the Study
Its major limitation was the problem of
getting information from the institution under study. As organization,
there is always the fear of giving out information to the public as
such, vital information needed was not readily available. Time equally
would not be left out; getting permission to leave school and the issue
of finance cannot be ignored as much was spent in procuring materials.
However, with fact and judicial use of the limited resources, reasonable
analyses have been carried out in this research work.