THE INFLUENCE OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA ON CURBING THE MENACE OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE AMONG YOUTHS IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

                                 INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

Examination is the process of assessing understanding, knowledge and academic ability of an individual within a given period. Examinations are arranged to evaluate the academic achievement of students and to know whether they have achieved a standard of academic learning and knowledge (Suleman, Gul, Ambrin & Kamran (2015). Nnam and Inah (2015) opined that examination is a yardstick against which students or candidates’ competence and progress are formally measured and appraised in the education sector. According to Kpangban, Ajaja and Umedhe (2008), examination is an assessment intended to measure knowledge, skills, attitude, physical fitness or classification in many other topics such as beliefs. Omemu (2015) noted that teaching and learning become more effective when the students are subjected to an examination process to determine the extent to which the students have assimilated the content of the instruction given and the teacher can also access himself from the performance of the students. The outcome of examinations goes a long way to determine whether the objectives of the academic process are being met or not. Irrespective of the huge relevance of examination in academic process, a lot of factors have bedevilled its reliability; one of such factors is examination malpractice.

        No doubt, examination malpractice is an illegal behaviour by a candidate before, during or after the examination in other to achieve undue success easily. Adedojun (2003) defined examination malpractice to include misconduct or any other act not in consonance with the rules and regulations guiding the examination with a view to obtaining good result by fraudulent means. Wilayat (2009) noted that examination malpractice is any illegal act committed by a student singlehandedly or in collaboration with others; like fellow students, parents, teachers, supervisors, invigilators, printers and anybody or group of people before, during or after examination in order to obtain underserved marks or grades. Nwana (2000) defined examination malpractice as behaviour contrary to a set of expected code of conduct or contrary to a set of ethics and norms exhibited in the cause of examination by person or group of persons. Examination malpractice has become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the academic fabrics of students in Nigerian schools. This has created doubts on academic certificates issued to graduates from Nigerian schools.

        Examination malpractice comes in different forms which includes, coping, sorting, bringing foreign materials into examination halls, impersonation, exchange of scripts, use of electronic devices such as phones, calculators collusion with invigilators, and exam officers smuggling scripts written outside into exam halls. Innovative approaches in education has also given rise to innovations in examination malpractice as students can now send questions and answers to their colleagues in any part of the country through electronic means which negates the conduct of examination.

        Uwandiae (1997), Bolarine (2002), Anwanbor (2011) and JAMB (2003) in Akanni and Odofin (2015) opined that the great emphasis on certificate as a means of employment or progress from one point to the other makes students more desperate to acquire certificates by all means thus culminating in examination malpractices. Aina (1991) and Aliyu (1991) in Zakka (2014) noted that the desire to pass at all cost is responsible for examination malpractices. School management and parents tend to push on wards to get their certificates and good grades by all means in order to secure employment or admission into the best higher institution. Ukpabi (2015) indicated that the major causes of examination malpractices include, laziness of students, large population of students in many schools, desperation among students to pass exams, wide and difficult syllabus in many subjects, inadequate preparation for exams, corrupt invigilators and supervisors. The adverse effect of examination malpractice in the standard of education in Nigeria cannot be overstretched. Students no longer take their studies serious, creativity and resourcefulness among the students is thrown to air. Teachers are not respected anymore, employees are not competent on jobs they are employed for as a result of their certificate.

        This worrisome trend has warranted examination bodies (JAMB) to source for remedies to examination malpractice in public examination, because it could lead to a total collapse in the education system if allowed to continuously prevail. One of such methods adopted to checkmate examination malpractice in public examinations such as the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) is the Computer Based Test (CBT) mode of examination. Computer Based Testing (CBT) mode has emerged as one of the recent innovative approaches to assessments by examination bodies against the Pencil and Paper Testing (PPT) mode. Computer-based test (CBT) is the taking of a test on computer instead of using Paper and Pencil. Computer-based test can also be defined as test or assessments that are administered by computer in either stand-alone or networked configuration or by other technology devices linked to the internet or the World Wide Web (Olsen 2000).

1.2  Statement of the Problem

The rampant occurrence of examination malpractices in the country has been a major challenge to educationists (Aghenta, 2000; Ige, 2002). In spite of the efforts of National Policy on Education (FGN, 2004) placing high premium on examinations, it seems that the issue of examination malpractices have not been properly addressed throughout Nigeria. It has been recently observed that there is mass cheating in public examinations throughout the whole federation. Little efforts have been made to reduce the problem. This brings about the issue of introduction of information and communication technology (ICT) to curb prevalent examination malpractices among candidates sitting for examinations.

Ojirinde (2015) noted that the introduction of computer based test (CBT) has led to reduction in exam malpractice in the country. It was noted that the introduction of the CBT was for the development of the Nigerian child and the betterment of all Nigerians desirous of improvement in the educational standard. Ojirinde (2015) further expressed that with CBT our schools will be forced to follow our school curriculum as it affects Information Technology and above all, the Board opted for CBT so as to ensure global best practice in the conduct of examination. It is on this foundation that this research seeks to examine the influence of electronic media on curbing the menace of examination malpractice among youths in Nigeria.

1.3  Research Objectives

The general objective or main objective of this study is to examine the influence of electronic media on curbing the menace of examination malpractice among youths in Nigeria. The specific objectives are:

i)            To understand the menace of examination malpractices in Nigeria.

ii)          To investigate the causes of examination malpractices in Nigeria.

iii)        To study the ways through which examination malpractices can be prevented in Nigeria through the use of electronic media.

1.4  Research Questions

The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

i)            What is the menace of examination malpractices in Nigeria?

ii)          What are the causes of examination malpractices in Nigeria?

iii)        What are the ways through which examination malpractices can be prevented in Nigeria through the use of electronic media?

1.5  Research Hypotheses

The following will be the research hypotheses to be tested for this study:

i)            There is no significant relationship between electronic media and reduction in examination malpractice among youths in Nigeria.

ii)          There is no significant difference between the mean responses of male and female youths on the reduction of examination malpractice through electronic media.

1.6  Significance of the Study

       The study would no doubt play a vital role in making the policy makers and legislators to acknowledge the risk and threat exhibited by students involved in examination malpractices and the perpetrators some time indiscipline parents, corrupt teachers and peer groups as alleges by culprits or invigilators. This will enable legislators not only revisiting the existing disciplinary measures but to insist that culprits are punished without fear or favour. To student the research may bring about positive changes in their attitude to studies and examination, so that we have examination malpractices free society. It would also serve as an important source of related literatures for future researches which this work did not adequately covered.

Finally, the implementation of recommendation made in this study would also bring about positive changes in the curriculum review of minimum standard carried out after 4 years. This is because some students attribute their involvement in examination malpractices to the difficulty or inadequacy of the curriculum while the colleges and administrators would find this research useful in understanding the complexity of examination, organizational behaviour management and more importantly risk management. For the knowledge of these management issues are important to administrators and invigilators, since most students caught cheating either retaliate or attack the supervisor/invigilators. In a nut shell, this study will be of great significance to curriculum developers, legislators, invigilators, educational administrators, parents, preachers, students and prospective school managers. In conclusion the study of this nature would no doubt add to the existing body of knowledge.

1.7  Scope of the Study

The study will be conducted to examine the influence of electronic media on curbing the menace of examination malpractice among youths in Nigeria. Thus, the study will use selected secondary in Nigeria as a case study.

1.8  Limitation of the Study

In the cause of this study, the researcher encountered the following challenges:

Time factor: it was anticipated that the time for the study may not be enough to carry out intensive and extensive study since some of the information is not easily and quickly available. Therefore, the researcher used extra time; weekends so as to be able to collect, analyze and interpreted the collected data.

Lack of enough funds: the funds provided was not enough to meet all expenses during the study like transport cost, meal allowance, photocopies and stationeries expenses. Hence the researcher conducted the study in accordance with the fund provided by the sponsor and the researcher own fund.

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