AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE PERCEPTION OF POLYTECHNIC STUDENTS TOWARDS EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES
Background of the Study
The Nigeria government perceived education as means if giving its citizen tools for effective functioning as individuals and social beings. Thus, education becomes a vital and crucial tools needed for the formation of minds from childhood to adulthood in a designed environment called school where learning and the acquisition of skills can take place for the total development of each individual the society and the nation as a whole (Ogunkoya, 1998). The overall aim of education is to shape the behavior of an individual, so that he or she can perform most effectively within his social milieu.
The major objective of Polytechnic education is to train students to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills to enable them to contribute effectively to national development [FGN, 2OO4]. This training requires periodic assessment and evaluation in form of examinations to ascertain the level of competence of students. Although examinations are not the only instruments for assessing students’ knowledge in the polytechnic, they have emerged as the major established yardstick and the most practical way of assessment.
This has led to students devising different types of methods to pass examinations at all cost, thereby resulting in examination malpractice. Some of these methods are impersonation, exchange of answer scripts by students writing relevant information on parts of the body and pieces of paper etc. (Anan, 2005).
Examination malpractice can be defined as an act of wrong doing, contrary to official rules, and is designed to place a candidate at unfair advantage or disadvantage; it is a careless, illegal or unacceptable behavior by a candidate in a formal test of his knowledge or ability in a particular subject (Philemon, 2007). It could be said to be an act of omission or commission which compromises the validity and integrity of any examination (Okwu, 2006) further stated analysis is counter – practice that is against ethics of examination, it is an act of disrespect to all rules and regulations guiding, the good conduct of any examination or any evaluation process. Bearing in mind the role that education is supposed to play in nation building, a nation stands the risk of being underdeveloped in terms of accumulation of illiteracy, disease and poverty when its youths reject the honour of getting sound education and seems to opt for fraudulent activities and deceptive ways.
Liman (1997), opined that malpractices have a paralyzing effect on the developing nation. Its process makes void in our youth, future leaders and professionals a situation that leads to a future of social, political and economic insanity and bankruptcy. According to Liman engaging in examination malpractices lead to cancellation of results which means great waste of resources to society and parents and provides sources of great agony and injustice to innocent students.
Examination malpractices have seen in existence for a very long time. Famiwole (1995) reported that the first case of examination leakage and irregularities in public examination occurred in 1945. According to him, a Nigerian candidate has his examination can cancelled because of the possession of a history not during 1948 matriculation Examination. An earlier incident was the leakage of the Cambridge School Certificate Examination in 1914, since then, there have been several cases. However, the most widely reported cases occurred in 1963, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1987, 1991 and 1994 (Money, 1997).
It is any activity of a student or group of students whose purpose is to give any of them higher grades than they would likely receive on the basis of their own achievement. It is an illegal or unethical behavior by someday in the process of testing an examinee’s ability or knowledge by means of question (Ikupa, 1977). Oluyeba and Daramola (1992) remarked that examination malpractice include the following examination malpractice is any irregular behavior exhibited by a candidate or anybody charged with the conduct of examination before, during or after the examination which contravenes the rules and regulation governing the conduct of such examination. Similarly, Kibler (1988, as cited in Kibler, 1993) defined examination malpractices as forms of cheating and plagiarism that involve students giving or receiving unauthorized assistance in an academic exercise or receiving credit for work that is not their own.
Examination malpractice is not a recent phenomenon or is it peculiar to Nigeria or African but it is a global issue (Ikupa, 1997). However, the alarming rate of its increase in Nigeria calls for novel ways to redress the situation the situation. Examination misconduct has some social and psychological dimensions, which the counselor should address with holistic intervention. Fatai (2005) defines it as any irregular act exhibited by candidates or anybody charged with the conduct of examination, which is clearly a breach of the rules governing the conduct and integrity of the examination.
It is viewed as any act carried out before, during and after an examination, which is against the rules set out for the proper and orderly conduct of the examination. It has been further described as an action done to gain undue advantage over other candidates as an action done to gain undue advantage over other candidates which is against the rules and regulations governing the conduct of such examination. These malpractices include misrepresentation of identity or impersonation, cheating, theft of other students’ work, tampering with the works of others, bringing prepared answers to examination halls, unethical use of academic resources, fabrication of results and showing disregard to academic regulations (Gross 2003, Owuamariam 2005). They have also been regarded by researchers (Omotosho, 1992, Hurwitz and Hurwitz, 2004) as dishonesty in examinations perpetrated by a person or a group of persons. Common observation show that examination malpractices occur. It assumed a frightening proportion in Nigeria. This therefore should be a concern to stakeholders in education. In view of therefore going instances of examination malpractices, the purpose of this study was to examine the perceived causes of examination malpractices in polytechnics. The study investigated the perception of polytechnic students towards examination malpractices.
Statement of the Problem
The persistent occurrence of examination malpractices and all our internal and external Examinations has been a source major concern to the educationists and stakeholders in Education. Despite the high premium placed on examinations by the National policy on Education. It seems that examination malpractices have not
been properly addressed in Polytechnic and other similar institution.
This research work is therefore interested in the following question;
-What are the factors associated with examination malpractices among the polytechnic Students? -To what extent does these identified factors influence examination result?
-What are the attitude of students and lecturers to examination malpractices? Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the causes of examination malpractices among polytechnic students. The study also investigates the effect of examination malpractices on polytechnic education and proffer possible solutions or remedies among polytechnic students.
Significance of the Study
This study is significant in that its findings would go a long way to shed more light on the forms of examination malpractices carried out in the institutions. This study is also important because it will reveal the effects of examination malpractices on the society as a whole and role which counseling can play to help the situation. Therefore, the findings will be useful to students, lecturers, parents, administrators, educationist, examination coordinators and educationist in general in planning and conducting examinations and reducing malpractice to the breast minimum.
Finally, if the recommendations of the study are applied, it will go a long way to instill discipline in examination and bring examination malpractices to a limited occurrence.
Scope of the Study
The research will examine the reasons why students partake in examination malpractices. It is also expect to explore diverse causes and means of examination malpractices in Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The following questions were raised to the guide this research work:
(1) What is the general perception of students towards examination malpractice?
(2) What is the relationship between the level of academic exposure and students’ perception of Examination Malpractices?
(3) What is the degree of association between gender and students’ perception of Examination Malpractices?
Definition of Terms
The following terms were defined as operationally used in this study.
Adulthood: refers to a person who is intellectually and emotionally matured.
Citizen: refers to a person who has full rights in a state.
Conceptualization: refers to conceiving of an idea or plan.
Contravenes: refers to going against the law
Dishonesty: refers to an intention to cheat.
Disposition: refers to arrangement, placing in order.
Fraudulent: refers to an act of deceit.
Fabrication: refers to a forged document.
Individual Difference: refers to the unique factors that differentiate one person from another in terms of attitude, behavior, action and intelligence.
Scrap: refers to a small piece of paper