1.1 Background to the Study
Examination has been generally accepted as the best means of assessment. It is a formal test of knowledge or ability. Infact, in a school setting, examination is a means of evaluating the quantity of knowledge a student has acquired within a specific period of time. Adekunle (2003) sees examination as an instrument used for the assessment of individual skills and knowledge-content, both in general and specific area of study.
Teaching and learning become more effective when the students are subjected to an examination process to determine the extent to which the students have assimilated the content of the instruction given and the teacher can also assess himself from the performance of the students. In essence, examinations are used to determine pass or fail of a student or group of students in the opinion. History seems to support the view that setting children against one another in trials and competitions has always been a respectable means of inciting them of deal’’. A student who knows that he might fall on examination which will in turn determine his progress or promotion will strive hard in order to pass. This once more encourages kind of competition within groups of students who will dim at nigh position in their classes.
Examinations are also used for academic stratification or for assigning grades to students. For decade, the West Africa Examination Council awards results on the basis of some stratification’s and three. The contemporary practice of (N.C.E). Students are stratified into distinction, credit merit and pass, while in the university also, students are stratified into first, second (upper and lower) or third class degrees having gone through an examination. These grades are a measure of success and prestige. A child with a division one pass in school certificate examination will be regarded by those around him as academically precocious. He is also likely to have a place in the institution of higher learning or in job situation within the society easier than a child with a division three pass. All these conditions have combined to influence a child’s attitude to an examination; attitude which always colonnade in an urge for success in any particular examination whether or not he had prepared for it. These competitions in school have their parallel in the society.
Unfortunately, this all important means of assessing students has become ineffective as all forms of malpractice have been introduced into the system. Adesina (2000) traced the history of examination malpractice in Nigeria to 1914. When there was a leakage of the Cambridge examination. Cheating became widespread in schools hence in 1967, the Alexander Commission was set up as a special commission of inquiry to investigate the incidences of malpractice in Nigeria.
In 1977, there was a widespread leakage of the West Africa School Certificate Examination questions. Government took it as a challenge to address issues of examination malpractice. A special conference was held in that regard at Ibadan in 1986. Decrees were promulgated, schools were sanctioned, results cancelled and invigilators arrested all in a bid to curb malpractice.
The irony of it all is that despite the several attempts made by school authorities, government agencies, parents and church leaders in trying to concentise the Nigerian students on the evils of examination malpractice, this menace is still in its increase in the various schools. There is the need to find out The Causes and Effect of Examination Malpractice in Nigerian schools.
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