Is there still need of studying in this country? Attending school nowadays is it still crucial? Reading and studying hard in order to pass one’s exams are they still possible in this country? Being anxious about one’s exams is it still prevailing among the students of this country? Our youths are no longer studying their books because miracles are happening in their various examination halls. Examination malpractice has spontaneously dominated many of the Nigeria schools including private schools. Exam malpractice is among the serious problems and the worm that is plaguing our educational system nowadays.

The value and functionality of any educational system lies in its ability to actualize the goals of education. Till date, examinations still remain the necessary tool for an objective assessment and evaluation of what learners have achieved after a period of schooling. The examination malpractice act (1999) explains examination malpractice as any act of omission or commission by a person who in anticipation of, before, during or after any examination fraudulently secure any 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 certificate issued.

Examination malpractice is any irregular behavior exhibited by a candidate or anybody charged with the conduct of examination before, during or after the examination that contravenes the rules and regulations governing the conduct of such examination. Though examination malpractice is neither a recent phenomenon nor peculiar to Nigeria or Africa, the alarming rate of increase in examination malpractice in secondary schools in Nigeria calls for concern from all stakeholders in the education sector. The incidences of examination malpractice has become so widespread that there is virtually no examination anywhere at all levels and outside the formal school system without any form of shoddy practice or the other.
 
Examinations malpractices are common everywhere and every examination season witnesses the emergence of new and ingenious ways of cheating.
Examination malpractice Act no. 33 of 1999 stipulates a minimum punishment of fifty thousand naira (N50,000.00) and a maximum of five years imprisonment, without option of fine, for violators of the offences stipulated in the Act. The offences are: cheating at examination, stealing of question papers, impersonation, disturbances at examination, obstruction of supervision, forgery of result slip, breach of duty, conspiracy and aiding etc. Some of our students invent various subtle tricks in order to cheat during examination, but the question remains, who and who will eradicate examination malpractices among the students and their sponsors at large? We have many categories of internal and external examination that are being undertaken in this country but believe me examination malpractices occur in 80% of them. 

Who are the causes of examination malpractices?
Firstly, the Parents: moral upbringing of some of the youths is definitely poor. The ransom paid to the mercenaries who write the exams for our students is paid by whom? The parents of course; many parents go to the extent of bribing their way through to ensure unearned grades for their wards. During the time of the exams (WAEC, NECO etc) is it not the parents that give their children (students) the money to relocate from their present school to a new school in search of miracles during the exams. Many parents are the corrupt masters and mistresses of education in the country. They are the platform of examination malpractices among the student nowadays.
Secondly, the Teachers: teachers are like parents to children while they are in schools, but are they out to engage the students in dynamic learning that is active, interactive and creative on sound moral foundation and academic foundation? Are they out to produce students who are relevant, efficient, productive, competitive and excel in every endeavors in life positively. When the teachers abandon their responsibilities in the academic field, what will the students do? There is this saying that “When the teacher breaks the board, what will be the action of the student? If the teachers fail to implement the school curriculum as required, what will the students do rather than engage themselves in examination malpractices in order to pass their examination. Many teachers encourage examination malpractices because they lack the zeal to work but want to be praised for job not done.
 
Thirdly, the Students: students nowadays are no longer hard working and dedicated towards their academic endeavors. What do you expect of a student who is insufficiently prepared to do in examination hall rather than to be cheating in order to pass examination? Students nowadays are characterized by a heavy emphasis on desire for success and wealth without a corresponding emphasis on legitimate means and avenues to be used positively in achieving success.
Thirdly, the Students: students nowadays are no longer hard working and dedicated towards their academic endeavors. What do you expect of a student who is insufficiently prepared to do in examination hall rather than to be cheating in order to pass examination? Students nowadays are characterized by a heavy emphasis on desire for success and wealth without a corresponding emphasis on legitimate means and avenues to be used positively in achieving success.
 
Fourthly, Emphasis on certificate: Nigeria’s education system is largely certificate oriented, so much value and emphasis are placed on certificate instead of knowledge, skills and competence. Many school leavers and dropouts have certificates without knowledge, skills and the right attitude. This is why examination malpractices are increasing day after day for the rush to get paper qualification for jobs they possess not the right skills to perform.
Furthermore, the introduction of Global system of mobile telephones (GSM) in the country has revolutionized examination malpractice in the school system. The emergence of technological devices has spawned new and more sophisticated approaches to dishonest conduct during examinations. A lot of academic information is stored in handsets for direct use in examination hall or for onward transfer via sms to other students anywhere in the country. 
Consequences of examination malpractices
Examination malpractices lead to irreversible loss of credibility. A country that becomes noted for examination malpractices loses international credibility. The implication is that certificates/documents emanating from such country will be treated with suspicion. Consequently, certificates awarded by such county’s educational institutions are held in doubt. Such country’s educational institutions are as good as dead as far as international cooperation and recognition in education are concerned. Certificate is becoming valueless in this country because of this social malaise that has become inimical to educational development in the country.
This generation of Nigeria graduates will end up producing doctors who will forget scissors and towel in the stomach after surgical operation as long as malpractices are prevailing. This generation will continue to produce students with Alphas (distinctions) in WACE result, first class honours in the universities without a single knowledge in any definite course or subject. This generation will continue to produce teachers, who are unable to spell the names of their school correctly. This generation will end up producing lawyers who cannot differentiate between an accused person and the complainant.
Furthermore, the producing of fake drugs by pharmacists and massive fraud in commercial banks are the consequences of examination malpractices- malpractices not controlled at the earlier stage which blossomed to high scale malpractices and corruption.
Finally I urge you my fellow youths to desist from any form of examination malpractice no matter who is urging you to be involved. What you sow today, you must reap tomorrow whether good or evil. If you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind.
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