Examination Malpractice in Nigeria: Why, How and Solution

“Mrs. Cynthia! Please stop writing and stand up”. This was the fourth time Mr. Douglas, our Public Finance lecturer is stopping Cynthia from writing. It was our final year examination and almost every student was desperate to pass all the examinations because failing one will attract an extra year. And an extra year means paying a fresh tuition fee and accommodation fee.

Also the pain of seeing your classmates graduate while you remain in school cannot be overemphasized. Our lectures, on the other hand are well aware of the students desperation. In other to ensure that no student engage in examination malpractice, Mr. Douglas filled the hall with more than ten supervisors and he also invited enough school securities to arrest culprits.

The first time Mrs. Cynthia was halted, Mr. Douglas searched her desk, her answer booklet and under her seat, but he found no incriminating material. The same thing happened the second and third time lam bang dai hoc.

Therefore, when our lecturer interrupted her the fourth time the entire class became upset. Why must it always be Mrs. Cynthia? After all, everyone knows that she is a well behaved happily married mother of three. Students started making comments like; “Mrs. Cynthia cannot engage in malpractice”, “please, let her be”, “you are embarrassing her”, “look somewhere else”… etc.

But this time Mr. Douglas was more radical. He asked Cynthia to walk out of her seat and come to the front of the hall. Immediately, almost everyone stopped writing and focused on the event. Our lecturer instructed one of the female security personnel to conduct a search on Cynthia. After the exploration, nothing was found. Mr. Douglas seems convinced that Cynthia was cheating. But there was no evidence to back his certainty. He looked at Mrs. Cynthia, shook his head and instructed her to go back to her sit.

Cynthia had not taken up to three to four steps before Mr. Douglas called her back. The entire students in the class stood up in anger, protesting the ill treatment of our classmate. It was glaring that the class had reached its boiling point and it would explode if nothing illegal was found on Mrs. Cynthia this time.

What we all heard was; “give me the baby”. Mr. Douglas was asking Mrs. Cynthia to handover her three months old son to him. It was illegal to enter into an examination hall with a baby regardless of the infant’s age. Even Evelyn, one of our course mates had to leave her two weeks old son with her mother to sit for this examination.

The examination supervisors had earlier told Mrs. Cynthia that she would not be allowed to enter the examination hall except she kept the baby with her nanny outside. I was even surprised why Mrs. Cynthia would want to take her son with her that day because she had always kept the boy with the nanny outside. But she insisted that the baby must be with her because she was monitoring his temperature due to his ill health. It took the intervention of the Dean of Student’s Affairs, who issued an exception permit before Mrs. Cynthia was allowed to enter the hall with her son.

Mrs. Cynthia reluctantly handed her son to Mr. Douglas. He took the child and closely observed his clothing. Mr. Douglas asked Mrs. Cynthia to help him unbutton the baby’s shirt to enable him see his inner cloth. She blatantly refused, stating that her son might contract cold. With the assistance of the female school security, Mr. Douglas unbuttoned the lad’s shirt. After a quick glance at the baby’s inner suit, he pulled off the shirt and raised the three months old baby up to enable everyone see him clearly.

We discovered that the boy’s inner wear had series of writings on it. When I took a keen look at the writings, I discovered that they were definitions, features, disadvantages, advantages and explanations of different terms and concepts in Public Finance. Mrs. Cynthia had carefully written some of the answers to the examination questions on her three months old son’s cloth and her son was putting it on. And she was busy copying some answers to the exam questions from her son’s cloth.