1.1 Background to Study
One of the major problems confronting educational institutions especially secondary school in Nigeria is examination malpractice. It is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the society, and it has become so rampant among secondary school students in Nigeria that many regard it as a normal process of passing examination.
The value and functionality of any educational system lie in its ability to actualize the goals of education. In educational systems, world over, the examination process makes the difference. The goals 0 national educational systems and indeed national development become like mirage if examination ethics is not encouraged and instituted (Nwadiani, 2005). Till date, examinations still remain the best tool for an objective assessment and evaluation of what learners have achieved after a period of schooling. Hence, any actions that undermines examinations poses a great threat to the validity and reliability of ex animation results and certification.
Unfortunately, the process of examination in Nigeria secondary schools especially in Lagos State has become a “contemporary shame” (Nwadiani, 2005). This is because of the phenomenon of examination malpractice that has become endemic in the educational system. The Examination Malpractice Act (1999) explains examination malpractice as any act of omission r commission by a person who in anticipation of, before during or after any examination fraudulently secure an 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 certificates issued. Oluyeba and Daramola (cited in Alutu & Aluede, 2006) remarked that examination malpractice is any irregular behaviour exhibited by a candidate or anybody charged with the conduct of examination before, during or after the examination that contravenes the rules regulations governing the conduct of such examination.
In Nigeria, the last two decades have witnessed an alarming rate of increase in incidents of examination misconduct among secondary school students. Evidences abound of increasing involvement in examination malpractice by students, teachers and parents (Vanguard, 2005; Weekend Pointer, 2005; Daily Independent, 2004). The incidence of examination malpractice has become so widespread that there is virtually no examination anywhere at all levels and outside the formal school system that there is no one form of sharp practice or the other.
The incidences of examination malpractice are common everywhere and every examination season witnesses the emergence of new and ingenious ways of cheating. Though examination malpractice is neither a recent phenomenon nor is it peculiar to Nigeria or Africa (Awanbors, 2005), the alarming rate of increase is a global issue. The alarming rate of increase in examination malpractice in secondary schools in Nigeria calls for concern from all stakeholders in the education sector. It h s been widely reported that parents and teachers aid and abet examination malpractice directly or indirectly. (Vanguard, 2005; Weekend Pointer, 2005; Daily Independent, 2004 Nigerian Tribune, 2009). Parents go to the extent of bribing their way through to ensure that their wards get unearned grades while teachers encourage examination malpractice because they lack the zeal to work but want to be praised for job not done (Alutu & Aluede, 2006). According to Omoluabi and Uzoka 2006), the value system in Nigeria has broken down completely and so adults and youths alike act without moral scruples. This is the reason why examination malpractice still thrives despite its grave consequences on the social political and economic structures of the nation.
Although the efforts seem to be yielding some results, yet incidences of examination malpractice still feature prominently in the school system.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The educational system in Nigeria has many problems but examination malpractice constitutes one of the greatest because it threatens the very foundation of the system. Students’ engagement n examination malpractice constitutes not only a deviant behaviour, but also affects the reliability of examination certificate issued to those students who engage In examination The sole reliance upon examination results t day in Nigeria has made students to see examination certificates as the only way out of their ‘misery’. Therefore, the resort to various corrupt practices to achieve ‘successes’ in examination. But will not be able to defend and justify it. Similarly, they will not be able to confront adequately the challenges of later life. Such examination mischief makers are liabilities to any employer and the society in general.
It has severally been argued that examination malpractice is just one aspect of general moral decadence in the society. But as Onyechere (1996) pints out that, the educational system must rise above moral decadence since it holds the only hope for the transformation of youth and for future political, social and economic sanity. The continuous existence of examination malpractice in Lagos State Senior Secondary Schools, resulting into perceived fall in standard of education calls for very great concern among stakeholders in the education industry. There are reported cases of principals’ sale of school properties, embezzlement of school fees and unclaimed salaries of retired, dead or transferred teachers. There are also series of report about teachers and principals collecting money from students for the award of inflated marks and aiding and abetting examination malpractice in the writing of Junior and Senior School, Certificate Examination.
In the words of the Lagos State Commissioner of Education (2004:3) it has been reported that some principals and Headmasters are still collecting unauthorized levies from unsuspecting parents and innocent children. In the light of the above observation certain pertinent questions could be asked. Could the present laxity and unseriousness on the part of students, tea her and principals be attributed to ineffective implementation of the aims and objective of examination malpractice Act in Nigeria especially in Lagos State?
Therefore from the above statement of problems the researcher aim is to determine the principal management behaviour and examination malpractice in Lagos State secondary schools using Agege Local Government as a case study.
1.3 Objective of the Study
To attain decline or departure from examination malpractice in the country, the researchers embarked on this study to achieve the following objectives.
The general objective of the study is to determine the principal behaviour and examination malpractice in Lagos State senior secondary school.
The specific objectives are as follows:
i. To determine the causes, consequences of examination malpractices among senior secondary school in Lagos state.
ii. To examine the extent to which principal management behaviour in secondary has affected examination malpractices.
iii. To identify through a model the unethical examination management practices that tend to sustain examination malpractices in Lagos State.
iv. To examine the impact of examination malpractices on educational standard in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
Base on the above mentioned problem is the following research questions were raised and answered in this study
i. What are examination malpractices?
ii. To what extent have examination malpractices affect educational standard in Nigeria?
iii. Is there any relationship between principal management behaviour and malpractices In senior secondary school?
iv. Do policy measures put in place by the government really helped to curb examination malpractices in Nigeria?
v. What are the possible solutions to these problems of examination malpractices in Lagos state?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
To achieve the objectives stated above, the following hypothesis will be tested.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between principal’s autocratic management behavior and examination malpractice in Lagos state senior secondary schools.
Ho: There is no cant relationship between principal’s democratic management behavior and examination malpractice in Lagos State senior secondary school.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between laisez faire management behavior and examination malpractice in Lagos state senior secondary.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between situational management behaviour and examination malpractice in Lagos state senior secondary schools.
1.6 Significance of the Study
As Nigeria gears up towards the year 2020, to emerge as one of the 20 largest and strongest economics in African, she requires a sound and dynamic manpower. Unless examination malpractice is phased out, the country may not achieve vision 2020, d the United Nations (UN), may not achieve its Millennium Development Goals, MDG in Nigeria too. This study will be of benefits in the following ways.
The project will be of benefit, first and foremost to the ministry of education in Lagos state because it will expose to them potential cause of examination malpractices in the state. Secondly, this study will go a long way to help the government formulate policy that will eradicate to the level of examination malpractice in the country. Thirdly, this project will be useful in various institutions especially secondary school management (principals), for gaming greater knowledge and understanding of the problems of examination malpractices on educational standard in the country. Finally, it will be of great value to students as a point of reference and will equally form the basis for further research study on examination malpractice.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study focuses on examination malpractice as a global phenomenon, with specific emphasis on principal management behaviour and examination malpractice in senior secondary school in Lagos State. The researcher intends to cover only en senior secondary schools in Agege local government Area to assess the principal management behaviour and examination malpractice and its impact to the educational standard in senior secondary school in Lagos State.
1.8 Limitations to the Study
Its major limitation was the problem of getting information from the institution under study. As organization, there is always the fear of giving out information to the public as such, vital information needed was not readily available. Time equally would not be left out; getting permission to leave school and the issue of finance cannot be ignored as much was spent in procuring materials. However, with fact and judicial use of the limited resources, reasonable analyses have been carried out in this research work.
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