The effect of class size on the teaching and learning of mathematics
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The moral issues in the society and the quest for certificate in the face of poor academic performance has been identified as some of the major causes of examination malpractices in Cameroon. This study was necessitated by the fact that the researchers noticed so many mishaps during their final exams, amongst which was that many students were moving up and down in the exam hall, students identification papers were not checked upon entering the exam hall nor when they were writing, students going out after receiving their question papers without any invigilator accompanying them and thus it sought to examine the effects of examination malpractice on student’s future. It made use of four research objectives which are; To examine the relationship between impersonation on students’ future, to find out the effects of bribery on students’ future, to evaluate the effects of intimidation on students future, and to propose possible solutions to curbing examination malpractice. The Behavioural theory of Operant Conditioning by B.F Skinner and Social Learning Theory by Albert Bandura were used. The research design was a survey, and questionnaire was used to get respondents’ opinions. Analysis was done using simple percentage count. Test was carried out using 120 respondents. The results revealed that impersonation is negatively related to student’s future, bribery is negatively related to student’s future, and intimidation is negatively related to student’s future. Amongst the many recommendations, one of them was that the government through the Ministry of Higher Education (MINESUP) should integrate examination malpractices in the school curriculum as one of the cross cutting issues in the institutions of learning in order to enhance continuous awareness among learners. One of the suggestions was that other future researchers could work on this topic with other sampling technique to carry out data collection.
KEY WORDS: Exam malpractice, copy work, bribery, in personification
This chapter introduces the entire project and treats the following components; background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study and operational definition of terms.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Through education, learners are not only taught, trained, and adequately guided to acquire relevant skills and knowledge but also taught how to adapt to acceptable societal life. To some people, education is seen as a means of overcoming handicaps, achieving greater equality, and acquiring wealth and status for all (Udim, Abubakar and Essien, 2015). Illiteracy has recently become a focus of national concern (Wilkins, 1988). Malpractice in the field of education is a cankerworm that is fast draining the entire world and making education to lost its value, as well as certificates since people who are not able to construct complete sentences in their fields of studies move around with varying certificates. (Baku 2001). When students attend an individual school system for many years, subsequently graduating and entering the work force as functional illiterates, the implications of illiteracy suggest the presence of some serious flaws in the educational systems. Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. The quest for worth and avoidance of shame in the name of being referred to as ‘illiterates’ is causing an increase in the rate of examination malpractices as every individual once to hold key positions in the society, and one of the conditions for it is to show proof of having passed an exams. It is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is a principle instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Education is a necessary process through which young adults are equipped to lead productive lives according to their talents and interests (Akaranga & Ongong, 2013). The strongest form of educational malpractice is manifested in examinations. Examination malpractice is very evident in most educational systems, ranging from primary to secondary, and to university education.
Historically, educational malpractice dates as far back as the early 1970s. At that time, it was tagged expo “70”, when a full blown examination leakage was noticed in the conduct of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams of the year (Ibezimako, 2009). In that same decade, several other malpractices were discovered in 1977 WAEC. This obnoxious issue gradually became so monumental and continued to escalate in subsequent decades. This, at a point in time became so worrisome to state authorities
Narrowing down to Cameroon, her educational system is on which has been characterized by a swelling pronunciation of educational malpractices, either instigated by the students, teachers, or, promoted by the parents at home. Exam malpractices have been witnessed down from mere classroom tests, end of semester exams, to the General Certificate of Examination (GCE), for grammar students, and the BACC and CAAP for Technical education, and even to competitive entrance exams like the entrance exams into ENSET and other schools of the university. As part of efforts aimed at tackling this national cankerworm, the government of Cameroon has passed decrees related to examination malpractice, ranging from, complete expulsion from Cameroon exams to imprisonment against culprits and perpetrators. To a lesser extent, this has yielded no serious fruits as we still get cases from here and there about examination malpractices. Recently, the government of Cameroon through the GCE Board has put in place measures to check this phenomenon. During marking of scripts, thorough checking is done to identify copy work and other acts of misconduct that may had occurred. This can only help at the level of marking, and not the classroom. During final exams in the university, a glance in the halls will reveal many students copying from each other, noise from many areas and pieces of papers being flung from one corner to the other.
Nnam & Inah (2015) notes that examination is a yardstick against which students or candidates’ competence and progress are formally measured and appraised in the education sector. According to Emaikwu (2012), examination as part of evaluation in education is aimed at determining a learner’s level of skill acquisition or intellectual competence and understanding after a given training. Evaluation usually enables the teacher to be effectively ready for further teaching as this forms a feedback. George and Ukpong (2013) opine that examination is the most common tool around which the entire system of education revolves, it is the instrument used to decide who is permitted to move to the next level. Malik and Shah (1998) cited in Akaranga and Ongong (2013) observed that examination is not only a process of assessing the progress of students but, it also motivates and helps them to know their academic strengths and weaknesses apart from providing teachers with opportunities to try new methods of teaching. But when examination is not properly conducted, the expected feedback may not be obtained. Hence, the result of such evaluation leads to wrong decisions and judgments which affect the teacher, the learner, the entire education industry, as well as the society. Whenever there is examination irregularity or malpractice, the validity and resulting outcome is questionable. The common belief on certificates as the only yardstick to measure ones qualification has led many Cameroonians to buy educational certificates to prove their academic worth. Educational/ examination malpractice in Cameroon is as old as the country itself. The Examination Malpractice Act (1999) explains examination malpractice as any act of omission or commission by a person who in anticipation of, before, during or after any examination fraudulently secures any 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. Again, examination malpractice is commonly defined as a deliberate wrong doing contrary to official examination rules designed to place a candidate at an unfair advantage or disadvantage.
Generally in Cameroon, cheating; a phenomenon harnessed by most students to see themselves through their examinations has become alarming over the last 5 decades. For some students, cheating during exams is normal, while for others, they cheat because it is a solution to their success.
Theoretically, many theories can be used to describe the relationship between examination malpractice and students future.in this study, three classical major sociological perspectives can be used in providing theoretical backing, which are the structural- functional theory; which points out the contribution of examination malpractice in maintaining a stable social system and its negative consequences for the social system. The second is the conflict theory which reveals how examination malpractice generates various types of conflict in the social system and its role in perpetuating inequality. While the theory of symbolic interactionism points out how examination malpractice takes place through interaction. But for this study, the social learning theory of Albert Bandura and the Behavioural theory of Operant Conditioning by B.F Skinner will be used to provide an in-depth understanding of this research.
Conceptually, this work explores some forms of examination / educational malpractice including coming into the examination hall with extraneous materials, the use of mobile phones with internet connectivity, as well as plagiarism, bullying invigilators during exams, and even bribery. Main concepts to be examined are examination malpractice and students’ future. Sub indicators like the types of examination malpractice will also be conceptualized.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Examination is the most common tool used in the educational sector to decide who is qualify to go to the next class or next level, as well as what is used to decide who should be in a particular position or handle a particular tasks in an organization, but a lot of malpractices have crippled into it.
During the final exams of the researchers, they realized that the exams was characterized with many mishaps. This could be visible as many of the students were seating close to each other, some were often seen moving up and down in the exam hall, and when invigilators asked them, they gave silly complains like they want to beg calculators or pencils and others talk of erasers. The researchers also noticed with a lot of dismay that many students were often begging permission and going outside after seeing the exam questions and they were not being accompanied by invigilators. Furthermore, a perusal in the exam hall showed that we had close to 450 candidates in the exam hall sometimes with just 5 invigilators, giving a ratio of about 1:90, that is one invigilator taking care of about 90 students, and sometimes, the students are answering multiple choice questions. Worst of all was that the student’s identification papers were not checked upon entering the exam halls, nor during the time they were writing. One of these researchers also pondered how a student three years ago was caught during the GCE exams when he was invigilating with a bundle of pre prepared materials inside the hall. This type of students move along the streets with certificates they cannot defend. It is therefore with this fact in mind that the researchers set out to find out how educational malpractices like cheating during exams, interpersonal relationship between students and invigilators and absenteeism can be curbed.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.3.1 General Objective
The main objective of this study is to examine the effects of examination malpractice on students’ future.
1.3.2 Specific Objectives
Specifically, this research seeks to;
Examine the relationship between impersonations and students’ future.
Find out the effects of bribery on students’ future
Evaluate the effects of copy work and cheating during exams and students future
Propose possible solutions to curbing examination malpractice
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Benjamin F (1996) defines hypothesis as a proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation. They are reasonable guesses about possible and tentative solutions to the problem.
The following hypotheses will guide this study
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