Paul was a one-time Student Union Government Secretary in an institution where he had his Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE). He is intelligent, articulate, gentle, and also good with words. His words depict wisdom.
After his NCE, he went for his BSc in the same institution, which was affiliated to a university.
So one day, Paul went to write a carryover course for another student and that’s the end of the road for him. He was caught with a concrete evidence but he ran away. Till now, he is still on the run and the school management won’t stop searching for him.
The question on everyone lips is,
But to me, is that the right question to ask? Are we saying that he ought to try it but not where he is known?
There are many graduates and undergraduates that cannot defend their discipline because they don’t actually understand their course of study. They have not written any examination independently but malpractices. If you don’t like the course you are studying, why not do something about it instead of engaging in Malpractice?
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Examination Malpractice in Nigeria can be said to have come to stay but, is it really?
A story about a young man that wrote a letter of restitution to the officials of JAMB (Joint Admission and Matriculation Board) got to the news sometime in January 2022. He was involved in examination malpractice when he wrote the examination. So years after, after he has already graduated and worked, he gave his life to Christ. He wrote JAMB to forgive him for the malpractice that it was his days of youthful exuberance but JAMB told him to be ready to forfeit everything he used the result to get including his certificates.
This is how far examination malpractice can get but it seems as if no one is interested in dealing with it.
The rate of malpractice at all levels in Nigeria education system
Nigeria is practicing a 6-3-3-4 educational system. 6 years of Primary school, 3 years of junior secondary, 3 years of senior secondary, and 4 years of Tertiary education.
These days, at the primary school level, primary or basic 6 pupils are provided answers when writing their Common Entrance Examination and First School Leaving Certificate Examination.
In the junior secondary and senior secondary levels, the students are provided answers for their examination questions, of course, after handshake in Naira.
Enablers of examination Malpractice in Nigeria
Examination Malpractice take another turn in the tertiary institutions when, “arrange guys for me” was given an appointment as a lecturer. One of the Commissioners of basic education in Nigeria organized recruitment of teachers and later have some of them turned into her political family.
Most of the teachers and lecturers are not employed by merit but by nepotism and who you know. Not only do these people do not know what they are doing but they also don’t know what to teach. They resort to using nefarious ways to have their students scale through, either by crook or hook.
Another enablers are the parents. I have met parents who say, “I rather do whatever it takes to have my ward pass this exam than registering for two or three times because if he cannot pass now, he will not pass either in the future and I have no money to waste”.
The government is the most enabler of examination malpractice because there is no proper monitoring and supervision, I think it will be right to say that there is a conspiracy against the education sector by the agents of the government.
Is there hope at all
I believe that there is hope because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. If the government decides to take the bull by the horn by firstly making sure that the teachers of all categories are employed by merit and not for political gains.
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Go to any university in Nigeria, a large number of the lecturers are politically compensated with the job.
Again, quality assurance unit of the every organ, level and branch of the education sector should be up and running. Vehicles and funds should be provided for effective services.
Government should know and understand that
The education sector is very important because, it not only helps for today but prepares the society for the future and coming generations.
Teachers at all levels should be paid well enough to reduce the temptation of taking bribes, even though a greedy person definitely shows that side of him or her.
Working laws and orders should be put in place to deal with offenders. Paul in the story above was greedy and the law went after him. The law should not be only strong and active when Paul is involved but for all and sundry
Parents should imbibe in their wards the importance of hard-work, sincerity and honesty. When children are made to understand that what they didn’t work for, they can’t have it, they will learn to be diligent and hardworking.
Saying no sometimes to your children is not wickedness, it shows that they can not have everything they demand for and not everything can be kept on the table for them either.
Teachers at all levels should know and understand that they are carrying the burden of building humanity and society on their shoulders. They should know that they are ruining the society by encouraging examination malpractices. Understanding the fact that a doctor that qualified through malpractices can never be a good doctor and such doctor is the ban of the society. People meet untimely death at the feet of such doctors.
Students should make up their minds to be useful to themselves and their society. With such a mindset, excellence will be aimed at. Vices should be shunned by all means. Paul was aiming for excellence but the greed in him will not allow him to be who he’s supposed to be. Moving with the crowd sometimes leads to doom. Try sometimes to be a lone wolf. Most importantly, a life devolved of introspection is not worthy of living, ask questions.
Examination Malpractice is a loss to all – no gain. When the society is filled with quack teachers, quack doctors, quack engineers, quack pharmacists, in short, quack professionals and services, what remains is a ghost city.
In a no-distance time, there will be no living soul alive because the people’s lives will be quacked.
Is this the Nigeria we all want?