[Analyses]–There is no doubt an iota of truth in the saying that the future of any nation lies in the strength of its youth. It’s however quite unfortunate that for a nation as naturally endowed as ours, our hopes of a bright future gets slimmer each passing day. This is because the future of our youth and by extension that of our nation is being ravaged daily by a societal ill. This corrupt practice is the cankerworm that has eaten deep into the educational system of our nation. It is the leading cause of the sky-rocketing rate of unemployment in the country. It is the major reason our students have got results they did not earn and our graduates have certificates they cannot defend. This dishonest practice is the bane that has rendered our youths unemployable and it is none other than EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE.
The causes of this societal ill are not far-fetched and the list endless. Topping this list is the laziness of the students themselves. To put it bluntly and not to mince words, Nigerian students are lazy! To them (Nigerian students) examination malpractice is just another of their clever ways of outsmarting the universal law of nature. It’s another devious means devised solely by them to reap without sowing; to gain without experiencing pain; to achieve success without hardwork; to attain heights without climbing and to accumulate wealth without sweat. Who says there is no shortcut to success? With the discovery of examination malpractice, Nigerian youths have just invented one. But unfortunately what they have failed to realise is that nature cannot be cheated indefinitely. Even though it seems like one is having the upper hand for a while, in the long run, sooner or later, our deeds whether good or bad will eventually catch up with us. And isn’t the result obvious? The large number of students with outstanding results without admission and graduates with good certificates but no jobs are visible tell tales to this honest fact. It’s nature’s way of saying to Nigerian youths ‘I’m much smarter than you are ‘.
Also on the part of the students and on this endless list of causes of examination malpractice is peer group pressure and low self esteem. Since examination malpractice is practiced by the majority, the minority who stands against it are prone to so much pressure from peers that some eventually succumb to it. These honest few are tagged as being old fashioned, foolish and gullible. To most, examination malpractice is a normal practice. ‘What’s the big deal?’ many would ask. Little do they know that he becomes abnormal himself who sees an abnormal practice as normal and that engaging in this ungodly practice is an attempt to dig one’s grave before one’s death. Low self-esteem provides an explanation for the ‘giraffing’ aspect of examination malpractice. It explains why candidates in an examination hall find it necessary to copy another person’s answers, as they have lost faith in their own academic ability.
One cannot but bring to limelight the role that parents play to favour the spread of this nefarious practice all in their desperation to see their children succeed. Most parents are ready to do whatever it takes, by whatever methods, through whatever means, crooked or otherwise for their ward to excel academically. To them, the end will always justify the means and even if this ‘means’ involves bribing examination officials.
Not in the least important in this endless list of causes is the corruption of the examination body themselves. As we highlight the fault of parents who offer bribes to examination officials, let us not forget to apportion blame to the corrupt officials themselves who collect the bribes. So infuriating is it to see invigilators turn their backs on students who engage in examination malpractice or claim nonchalance simply because they have been ‘settled’ by the school management. Even more infuriating is seeing these sly invigilators encouraging this practice as they dispense answers to candidates in the examination hall. Something is seriously wrong with a system where those chosen to uphold the law are the ones who play the lead role in breaking it.
Although I do not claim to know the ultimate solution to this problem but this I know: that something has to be done and very fast. Otherwise as a nation, our future is bleak. Notwithstanding, a few sensible suggestions will be made which if adhered to will go a long way in stemming this practice. The first of these being that it’s past time we stopped blaming our leaders for our self-inflicted problems. It’s time we started seeing ourselves as the architect of our own misfortune because only then can we begin to tackle this problem. Now is the time to encourage hardwork in our youths. In all truth and honesty, there really is no shortcut to success. The only route is through hardwork. Any other self-designed route will have disastrous consequences.
Finally, enforcement of law is another strategy for curbing examination malpractice. Legislation against examination malpractice clearly stipulates that any student that is guilty of the crime should be sentenced to three years in prison and four years in the case of an invigilator or supervisor, without the option of a fine. But don’t we ever get tired of enacting laws without enforcement? How many students are truly behind bars for engaging in examination malpractice? It’s about time we made scapegoats of few and models of others; time we emulated those who truly excelled by their handiwork while punishing the dishonest ones. If all these suggestions are taken seriously then believe me, examination malpractice will become a thing of the past and as a country we will be on our way to achieving the bright and blissful future that has been destined for us.Please Follow Us @ThePageNg