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Causes and solutions to the problem of examination malpractice



Examination malpractice has become rampant in Nigeria; continued to degrade the standard and good quality of education of the country.

The situation has become worrisome considering how the malpractice is affecting the performance of our students both socially and academically.

Indeed, education is the master of all development if it is excellently undergone through the laid down procedures, and whenever something goes wrong from normal procedures the yielded results might not be good enough. The situation that makes Nigeria to be left behind in times of national development is because the sector is full of corrupt malpractices.


The situation makes me so angry because the authorities fold their hands and continue to look at the issue without taking proper measures. Virtually, the issue of examination malpractice has taken over the country from all levels of education especially the secondary schools.

During the national examination, mostly teachers help the students by copying on the board, dictate or prepare worked answers for the students to copy.

Sometimes, students are even hired to write exams for others. Students take textbooks into and swap papers in the examination halls knowingly by their teachers.

The worse part of it is that, miracles centres are now introduced even those who can not read and write can get nine credit, while those who are not able to write at the centres still pay the centres to provide them with answers prior to the examination date hence they have it ready, and the examination authorities and its related agencies are aware of such centres but nothing has been done yet to curb the menace.

Laziness on the part of the students is one of the remote causes of examination malpractice in Nigerian schools, nowadays, students find it difficult to study their books either at home or school, lack of confidence in students when students who are less prepared surpass the exam scores of those who exhibit honest actions during an exam, is a major clog in the wheel of the educational system in Nigeria.

Maduemezia (2003) reported that the first examination malpractice in Nigeria occurred in 1914 during the Senior Cambridge Local Examination papers which were leaked before the scheduled date of examination.

Thus, examination malpractice which started at a low trend became more pronounced in 1970, involving persons other than the candidates. Since then examination malpractice became more advanced and sophisticated.


However, 1977 marked a watershed in the history of examination malpractice as there was an outcry in Nigeria on the credibility of West African Examination Council (WAEC), which was the only organ saddled with the responsibility of conducting the public examination in Nigeria.

Within the past, two to three years cases of examination malpractice have been too rampant in virtually all levels of education in the country, with those of the secondary school being most alarming.

The WAEC or NECO withheld the results of quite a large number of schools found to have been involved in examination malpractice in every yearly examination.

Traced to its root, there are apparent pointers to the alarming fact that parents, school authorities, examination invigilators, examination officers and amazingly too, maybe security agents sent to schools by the examination board to assure sanity in the conduct of the examination hall collaborate to allow examination malpractices, Parents have a vital role to play in their children education. As a parent, you have to pay attention to your child education because you are your child’s first and most important teacher, especially Mothers!

Mothers spend most of their time taking care of the children she knows them more than the father. So, mothers should pay attention to them.


Whenever your child closes from school after rest, ask the child what he was taught in school you should put it in jovial manner like ‘My son/daughter I want you to teach me what your teacher taught you today because I never went to school’ when your child hears that you have never been in class that would make him be confident to say out all that he knows. You will improve your child education by encouraging your child to read and also revise what he was taught in school, encourage your child to be responsible and work independently, make sure that your child gets homework done or find homework help for your child if needed.

Furthermore, when parents and families are involved in their children’s academics, the children do better and have better feelings about going to school.

Remuneration must adequate at all levels of educational institutions to promote hard work and commitment to duties. The government and school administrators should constantly organize seminars and workshops to educate the students, lecturers, parents and even the administrators on the consequences of examination malpractice.

The government that attempted to combating the hydra-headed social vice in the country did not live long enough to effect it desires.

Yunus wrote from the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri.


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