This study is focused on the causes of examination malpractice among
secondary school students in Enugu Education zone of Enugu State. It had
become a general view to accept that the last two decades have
witnessed high rate of several incidents of examination misconduct; more
especially at post primary education level. According to Olatunbosum
(2009); every examination witness the emergence of new and tactful ways
of cheating during examinations, contrary to the normal view which
assumes that examination is a formal test of somebody’s knowledge or
ability in a particular subject; especially by means of answering
questions or practical exercises. For detailed analysis, the above topic
had been discussed under various headings and sub-headings which are
categorized into chapters. For instances, chapter one introduces the
subject matter of the research work; chapter two is mainly literature
review, in which, the interest of students towards their studies as well
as availability of teaching facilities among other things were
discussed. Chapter three discuss the research methodology, while chapter
four and five were based on data analysis and representation,
discussion on findings, summary of findings, conclusion, implications of
the study, recommendation as well as suggestion for further study.
Background of the study
Sulaiman (2008) opined that one of the
objectives of education in Nigeria is to prepare the young one to face
future challenges and develop them to meet the nation’s man power
requirements. He also opined that schools need to conduct examinations
as yard stick for assessment. According to him, examination is a formal
test of some body’s knowledge or ability in a particular subject;
especially by means of answering questions or practical exercises.
Examination is also seen as the process through which students are
evaluated or tested to find out the quality of knowledge they have
acquired within a specified period of study.
According to Olujuwon (2004), the Nigeria educational system is in a
state of confusion and disarray. This is as a result of inconsistence
and non-implementation of educational policies, corruption and corrupt
practices perpetrated by the stake – holders. There had been a clarion
call by all and sundry to re-examine and appraise the educational system
in line with current trends.
Aisha, (2009) is of the view that examination malpractices have
consistently remained a bane of Nigeria educational system. Most
foreigners say that the academic certificates being issued to graduates
in Nigeria are no more valuable than the pieces of paper on which they
are printed. In the opinion of Aisha (2009), Examination malpractice is
an illegal behaviour by a candidate before, during or after the
examination so that he/she attains success easily and cheaply. Sulaimon
(2008) is of the view that examination malpractice is a kind of conduct
that violates the acceptable laid down rules and regulations of Nigerian
Institutions. He further explained that examination malpractice is any
wrong doing before, during or after any examination.
Suleimon (2008), education, which is a very important tool of nation
building, is not given the adequate attention it deserves; as the sector
is not funded adequately, no proper plan and policies that will provide
the kind of leadership that is required in the sector to enable the
system achieve the desired objectives. Teacher’s welfare is not properly
taken care of, public schools are left without basic infrastructural
development needed to stimulate learning, no proper monitoring; as most
of the examination bodies are not closely monitored. So, examination
malpractice has become world- wide problem, for instance, a Ghanianian,
Rex Annan, Kumasi of 13th April, 2007 explained that in recent times in
Ghana, the occurrences of examination malpractice had assumed an
alarming trend; and that was invariably due to candidate fear of
failure, lack of confidence, laziness and inadequate preparation and
most often their inability to apply themselves to their studies.
However understood the examination malpractices had become a
world-wide problem among students, the researchers are seriously
concerned in making effort to discover the cause of this
problem-especially among: secondary school students within Enugu
educational zone of Enugu state, Nigeria.
Oluyeba and Daramola (1992) in their own view believe that
examination malpractice is an irregular behaviour exhibited
by-Candidates or anybody charged with the conduct of examination inside
outside the examination hail before, during or after such examination.
This view was upheld by Azinge (1993) as well as Imogie (1993). Ahmed
(1993) believed that an examination malpractice is any act of wrong
doing or neglect that contravenes the rules of acceptable practices
before, during, and after an examination by anybody in any way
tantamount to malpractices.
Shonekan (1993) sees it as irregularities, when are premeditated and
perpetuated by the candidates or their agents with the intention of
gaining undue advantages in the examinations. Afigbo (1993) opined that
the problem of examination malpractices in Nigeria seems to be as old as
the-introduction of formal system of education in Nigeria. According to
him, the first major incidence of examination malpractices was in 1914,
when the senior Cambridge local examination leaked. This scenario took
an unprecedented surge in 1963, 1967, 1977, 1981 and 1987, when two
public examinations leaked.
These leakages then attracted the attention of the federal
government, which led to the promulgation of Decree 27 of 1973, and
miscellaneous Decree 20 of 1984 to curb examination malpractices; and
later the Decree prescribed 21 years jail term for offenders.
In the opinion of Olujuwon (2004), these and other measures put in
places still do not deter people from engaging in examination
malpractices. In WAEC conducted examinations in 1991, 30, 982 students
were involved in examination malpractices while 35, 479 students were
reported in 1992 as being involved in examination malpractices as
published by national dailies then.
With reference to Olujuwon (2004), investigations conducted by the
national concord of Tuesday, June, 1998 revealed how teachers helped
students to engages in examination malpractices by coaching them before
examination day. This trend according to the report is being used by the
schools involved to improve their position in the performance tables,
which have become a key indicator for parents choosing a school for
their children as WAEC examination centre.
Infact, authorities had also suffered as a result of students
involvement in examination malpractices; for instance, in the year 2002,
during the University matriculation examination (UME) conducted by the
joint admission and matriculation board (JAMB), the board cancelled the
result of about 46, 448 candidates, allegedly involved in examination
malpractices, as confirmed by (people’s choice magazine vol. 1 no 8 of
Nwadiani (2005) opined that the value and functionally of any
educational system lie in its ability to actualize the goals of
In educational systems, world over, the examination process makes the
difference. The goals of national education system and indeed national
development become like a mirage, if examination ethics are not
encouraged and instituted. According to him, till today, examination
still remain the best tool for an objective assessment and evaluation of
what learners have achieved after a period of schooling.
Thus, any action that undermines examination poses a great threat to
the validity and reliability of examination results and certification.
Nwadiani (2005) opined that it is very unfortunate that the process of
examination in Nigeria secondary schools has become a “contemporary
shame.” He opined that this is because of the phenomenon of examination
malpractice that has become endemic in the education system. He defined
examination malpractice as a process in which students cheat in the
Additionally, the examination malpractice Act (1999) explains
“examination malpractice as any act or omission or commission by any
person who in anticipation of, before, during or after any examination,
fraudulently secure any unfair advantages 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.
Oluyebe and Daramola (cited in Alutu and Aluede, 2006) remarked that
examination malpractice is any irregular behaviour exhibited by a
candidate or any-body charged with the conduct of examination before,
during or after the examination that contravenes the rules and
regulations governing the conduct of such examination. In agreement with
Omoluabi and Uzoka, citied in Atutu and Aluede, (2006) the value system
in Nigeria has broken down completely and so adults and youths alike
act without moral scruples. This is exactly why examination malpractices
still thrives despite its grave consequences on the social, political
and economic structure of the nation.
The examination malpractice Act No. 33 of 1999 stipulates a minimum
punishment of N50,000( Fifty Thousand Naira Only), and a minimum of five
years imprisonment, without option of fine, for – violators of the
offences stipulated in the act. The offences are: cheating at
examinations, stealing of question papers, impersonation, disturbances
at examinations, obstruction of supervision, forgery of result slip,
breach of duty, conspiracy and aiding, etc.
bodies and other concerned citizens have made a lot of efforts to
forestall the incidences of examination malpractice and the problems
associated with the conduct of examinations in Nigeria.
Although the efforts seem to be yielding some positive results, yet
incidence of examination malpractice still feature prominently in the
school system. Thus, in 2006, the federal ministry of education black
listed and derecognized 324 secondary schools across the nation as
centres for conducting public examination from 2007 to 2010 because of
their involvement in examination malpractices. (Weekend times, 17th and
18th Feb. 2007 page 4).
Distribution table of examination malpractice in Nigeria secondary schools.
ZONE NO OF SCHOOL INVOLVED PERCENTAGE %
North - Central 54 16.6
North – East 08 2.5
North – West 12 3.6
South – East 48 14.8
South – South 116 36.0
South – West 86 26.5
TOTAL 324 100
SOURCE: Weekend Times, 17 & 18th Feb. 2007 page 4. The above
table shows the prevalence of examination malpractice in secondary
schools in Nigeria. It could be observed that examination malpractice
occurs in all geo – political zones in the country, with the south –
East geo – political zone placed in the 4th Position of the zones with
high number of schools involved in examination malpractice.
And it is necessary to note that Enugu Education zone is one of the
educational zones within Enugu States which is equally one of the states
within the south – east geo –political zone of the country.
However, it is very unfortunate that the phenomenon of examination
malpractice seems to be aggravated by large scale of shameful
involvement of dishonest and greedy teachers, school heads, parents and
all those who take part in admission of examination (Ijaiya 1998).
In the opinions of Badmus, (2006) and Aminu (2006) the phenomenon of
examination malpractice is influenced by many factors which include lack
of confidence as a result of inadequate preparation, peer-influence,
societal influence, parental support and poor facilities in schools.
Writing in the same vein, Awanbor (2005), Nwadiani – (2005), Okafor
(2006) Ayua (2006) and Azara (2006) identified school programmes,
teaching / learning environment, the teacher, over – value of
certificates, decadence in the Nigeria society and parental support as
some factors responsible for examination malpractice in Nigeria
Statement of problem:
ever continued cry of increased examination malpractices in our
secondary schools hall become a very serious problems to every
reasonable and responsible – citizen. Lack of staff disciplinary
measures coupled with commitment by parents in particular had become the
major problem that is invariably threatening the survival of students’
academic excellence in our schools.
With reference to Suleimon (2008), the examination bodies, to an
extent constitute problems that cause examination malpractices in our
secondary schools. According to him, W.A.E.C, N.E.C.O, JAMB and other
examination bodies in Nigeria are major players in the perpetration of
examination malpractice. He opined that most of the private schools
which WAEC or NECO give centres are haven for the perpetration of
He is of the view that in most cases, some WAEC external invigilators
are bought over and as a result, all sorts of illegitimate activities
could be going on in those centers, all these activities really
constitute to a very large extent; the problems which the researchers
wish to unravel which underscores the need for the study.
Purpose of the study
In fact, the primary
objective of this study is to discover the causes of examination
malpractices among secondary school students in Enugu education zone of
Enugu State. Therefore, bearing the above background in mind, the
researchers are specifically interested in using the study to find:
i. The interest of students towards their studies
ii. Availability of teaching aids or teaching facilities.
iii. The effect of parental influence as one of the factors that cause examination malpractices.
Significance of the study
The significance of the
study manifests itself both practically and theoretically. For
instance, Olatunbosu (2009) opined that a society that places
exceptionally strong emphasis on goal achievement; without a
corresponding emphasis on institutionalized means of achieving these
goals, is bound to exert pressures on some members of the society that
may eventually resort to the use of any technically expedient means in
achieving these goals; irrespective of whether the means employed is
legitimate or not.
It is very significant to note that Olatunbosun’s ideology is the
basic societal concept as far as examination malpractice is concerned.
Presently, there has been nation-wide out cry of examination misconduct
at all levels of institution of learning. These had been series of new
paper reports as well as radio broadcast on the subject.
Consequently, this study is very significant because the researchers
are hoped to discover the major causes of examination malpractices;
especially among secondary school students within Enugu Education zone
of Enugu State among other things. They will also discover the general
effects of the problem and will as well detect the expected remedy; of
which there is strong hope that at the end of the research work, the
findings and recommendations by the researchers should be of much
benefit to the students and the post primary school management board
(PPSMB) of Enugu State.
Scope of the study
It is the desire of the
researchers to cover the whole secondary schools within Enugu
Educational zone; but due to some financial difficulties and time
constraints, they wish to limit the study to only (5) five secondary
school within Enugu Education Zone.
In order to carry out this
research work in respect of the cause of examination malpractices among
secondary school students in Enugu Education zone very effectively, the
following research questions had been put forward.
i. To what extent
the interest of students towards their studies lead to examination
malpractices among secondary school students in Enugu Education zone?
To what extent lack of teaching aids or teaching facilities cause
examination malpractice among the secondary school students in Enugu
iii. How does the societal need for paper
qualification and parental influence contribute to examination
malpractices among secondary school students in Enugu Education zone?