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Examination malpractice: bane of quality education

Education gives people the baseline skills to survive in the world. It is believed to be the bedrock of any nation’s development; hence it is…

Education gives people the baseline skills to survive in the world. It is believed to be the bedrock of any nation’s development; hence it is incumbent upon such country’s government and relevant stakeholders to take the issues of education seriously, but the continuing decline in educational standard in Nigeria, especially as shown in public examinations, is a serious cause for concern. 

Our education system is threatened and badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also the result of our collective failure to make hard choices.

The problem with our education system is that it is a product of the Nigeria system which smacks of pervasive corruption in the land, erosion of our values system, lack of good governance, bad policy implementation and the over importance placed on certificate. Among other factors that destroyed our educational system are lack of conducive learning environment, dilapidated equipment in our laboratories, outdated books on the shelves of our libraries, unqualified teachers and the list is endless. 

However, the most challenging factor to the improvement of our educational standard is the fast growing cancer called “examination malpractice” which has eaten deep into the bones and marrows of our educational system. 

Several factors can lead to examination malpractice and they include lack of good societal and family upbringing, materialism, certificate over-consciousness, lack of self confidence, poor remuneration of teachers and examiners, poverty and corruption.

Forms of examination malpractices

1.      Paper leakage: This means that the content of examination or part of it is disclosed prior to taking the examination.

2. Impersonation

3. External assistance 

4. Smuggling in of foreign materials

5. Copying

6. Collusion

7. Intimidation of exam officials by candidates

8.      Improper assignment: Deliberately placing candidates under the supervision of corrupt officials.

Causes of examination malpractice

1. Laziness

2. Trying to protect the reputation of teachers and school status.

3. Desire of some parents to place their children in lucrative jobs.

4. Inadequate school facilities and teachers.

5. Threats and intimidations from parents.

 Effects of examination malpractices

Since such arrangement rarely fails, fraud or malpractice may eventually be seen as part of academic exercise. Graduates produced through malpractice will not see anything bad in sophisticated corrupt acts thus deflating societal morals.

Examination malpractice increases lack of confidence in students. Intelligent students feel disappointed and lose confidence when less intelligent ones perform better than them through cheating. 

Products of examination malpractice lack the requirement and experience to carry out their assignment and professional duties effectively, leading to quack doctors, collapsed building, corrupt judges etc in the society.

Products of examination malpractices always end up with unfulfilled dreams in their chosen career.

Examination malpractice is a negative orientation for future leaders who may end up being fraudulent and corrupt in their various offices.


Sound educational policy should be put in place with de-emphasis on the supremacy of certificate over skill and professional competence.

There should be the political willingness to implementing policies.

Ensuring that only formally register candidates sit for the examination

Religious and community leaders should be used to intervene on parents who insist on their children getting the best result without genuine efforts.

Prohibit the use of electronic devices by candidate during exams.

 Lawan is of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri


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