Contemporary issues and social problems are happenings or challenges that are currently affecting many people in the society. Social problems could be described as those social vices that came about as a result of urbanization, development of cities, increase in human population, interaction among people of different social background, different ethnic groups, contact with foreign cultures, use of electronic media, ICT, TV, internet services, prohibited literature etc.
Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria
Among these social issues that have become problems are:
- Examination malpractice
- Human trafficking
- Drug abuse
- Ritual killing
- Area boys syndrome
- Political killings
- Rigging of elections
- Advance fees fraud (419)
Examination malpractice is the term used to describe the various foul means employed by students and their helpers to pass examinations and get unmerited grades and results. Students engage in examination malpractice at every level of education but it is more pronounced at the secondary and tertiary institutions of learning. It is one of the common social problems in Nigeria and a social vice that reached a high proportion in Nigerian education sector. In recent years, government at the Federal level was forced to enact Decree 18 of 1984 in order to curtail the practice.
Causes of Examination Malpractice
- Crave for good grades: The crave to earn good grades in order to secure white collar jobs or gain admission to higher institutions.
- Laziness: Those who are too lazy to study will not have the required knowledge and so want to cheat during examinations.
- Truancy: Some students absent themselves from classes only to come to examination halls with intention to cheat.
- Lack of self-confidence: Due to lack adequate preparation, most students lose confidence in their ability to pass and so resort to cheating.
- Lack of enough provision for higher education: There is always the lack of enough space for all to gain admission into higher institutions of learning in the country. This constitute a serious factor for cheating in order to score high cut-off marks.
- Preference for some courses of study over others: Parents feel proud if their children are admitted for courses like Medicine, Law, Architecture, Petroleum Engineering etc irrespective of whether their children possess the ability and interest for such courses. In order to be ranked among the successful in the society, they encourage their children in cheating to pass requisite subjects at high grades.
- The desire to live big: Many students prefer pleasure to hard-work, yet they want to live big in the society. Hence they resort to cheating in examinations to secure certificates that will guarantee their success in getting high paid jobs.
- Overpopulation in many schools: Since the few who do very well may be promoted or admitted into higher institutions. Students therefore cheat in order to excel in the exams and over their mates.
- Corrupt invigilators and Supervisor: The students know that if they offer bribes to invigilators, they will be allowed to cheat in the examination hall. Worse still, the proposal to offer bribe for cheating will in some cases originate from the supervisors or invigilators.
- Many students are desperate: Many students think that passing the examination is a “do or die” affair. They want to excel by all means. Some wants promises from parents fulfilled, others want to be on TV or newspaper as the best in one form of the examination or the other (though cheats hardly excel).
Effects of Examination Malpractice
- Loss of confidence in public examinations: Certificates issued by examining bodies and tertiary institutions no longer command public respect. Many school leavers including university graduates cannot defend their certificates during job placement interviews.
- Inefficiency in places of work: Many school leavers including graduates from higher institutions lack the proficiency expected of holders of the certificates they carry.
- Fall in the Standard of Education: Due to examination malpractice, the standard of education in Nigeria is seen to have fallen. Certificates are now being forged or given to those who can pay illicit prices for them even at the university level.
- Promotion of other vices in the Society: The gross failure in the educational system has introduced so many other social vices in the society.
- Disgraceful rustication from higher institutions: Many students who succeeded in gaining admission to higher institutions through examination malpractice have been shown the way out when discovered or when they could not cope with the demands of the courses they were admitted to read.
- Discouragement of good candidates from studying: Good candidates are tempted to believe that “if you cannot beat them, join them” especially as they see other candidates get away with their corrupt behaviour.
- Denial of innocent candidates opportunity for admission: Many good students have been denied admission by corrupt ones who through examination malpractices have better scores and grades.
- It delays the processing of examination scores and grades: Every year, many students caught for engaging in examination malpractices will need to be investigated before results are released. Though results are withheld pending the determination of the cases, some are decided before results are released. This extends the processing time.
Further reading on the Evils of Examination Malpractice
Solutions to the Problem of Examination Malpractice
- Enforcement of Decree 18 of 1984 on offenders to serve as deterrent to others
- Provision of adequate learning facilities in schools to ensure good learning
- Provision of enough space in schools to accommodate the increase in population of school age children.
- School heads at the secondary school level should sit up to stamp out malpractices in their schools
- Lecturers who collect gratification from students to award unmerited grades should divorce themselves from such evil practices in our tertiary institutions. Those caught doing this evil should be summarily dismissed.
- Examination Supervisors and Teachers who aid and abet students to cheat during public examinations should be made to face the law if caught in the act.
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