31.12.2023 Feature Article

Detriments Of Examination Malpractices And The Need To Speak Up

Awudu Razak JehoneyAwudu Razak Jehoney
31.12.2023 LISTEN

Examination malpractice is any act, default or practice which is a breach of the regulations that guides the examination and assessment processes. This act has a damning consequence on a society in which it happens and allowed to fester

Examination malpractice is no more a news in this country, the practice is found everywhere an in all institutions. There are different forms of this menace, these includes students bringing microchips into exams halls, impersonation, writing answers on body parts, asking friends for answers, teachers teaching students in exams halls, having access to question papers before the examination date, headmasters bribing exams bodies to boost students’ grades. “Mal” is a Latin word which means bad. Malpractice means bad practice and must be addressed with all seriousness it deserves.

It is a pervasive subject in our current educational set up, and must be identified, lamented upon for a sustainable solution, because failure to do this will have a far reaching consequences on the personal, academic and ethical development of our today’s children who are tomorrow’s leaders.

The recent pronouncement by former president John Dramani Mahama was aimed at shedding light on the detrimental impact of examination malpractices, on the future development of the children in our today’s society rather than to deliberately castigate and impugns the efforts of the hard working students amongst them. It is vital to interrogate the concerns raised by the former president with an objective mindset, because compromised learning outcomes damages character and integrity, therefore understanding the negative impact of this unethical practices and working collectively as a society will help find a solution to this bubbling crises waiting to burst.

Examination malpractices lead to compromised learning and knowledge acquisition; it undermines the fundamental purpose of assessments aimed at evaluating students’ understanding and mastery of the subject matter under which they are assessed. Examination malpractices deprive students of the opportunity to truly learn and understand the content of the subject. Consequently, their knowledge remains incomplete and shallow. It does not only hamper students’ academic progress but also affects their ability to apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios.

It is also worth mentioning that, this unacceptable act erodes students’ sense of academic integrity and ethical conducts. It undermines principles of fairness and fosters a culture of dishonesty in educational settings. It discourages genuine effort, devalues hard work and promotes the deceptive mindset of shortcuts to success. Furthermore, there is a propensity for students who thrive on dishonesty to miss out on the all-important character-building experiences that emerges from facing challenges, learning from failures and the consequent resilience development needed to succeed in today’s world.

Another reason why the issue of examination malpractice should not be politicized and brushed aside is the danger of “diminished self-esteem and confidence” on our future leaders. This menace, if not tackled has the predisposition of having a profound effect on the confidence as well as the self-esteem of students. They will always carry the guilt of achieving their academic “successes” based on cheating instead of their own capabilities and abilities; this can then lead to feeling of inadequacy and imposter syndrome.

They will constantly carry with them the fear of being caught; this further heightens anxiety and erodes their self-assurance throughout their adult and working lives. They will therefore become increasingly reliant on dishonest practices, thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle of low self-esteem and compromised personal growth.

Engaging in examination malpractices means that students are inadequately prepared for future challenges and deprives them of the needed opportunity to develop vital skills and qualities required for success in today’s global economy where standards are not compromised. Cheating ensure that, students bypass the all-important process of analytical reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving tools that examinations are designed to imbibe in them. These are skills that are essential for students to succeed in higher education and the professional world. Engaging in malpractice further ensure that students miss out on valuable learning experiences that are meant to shape their ability to navigate complex life problems and make informed and meaningful decisions.

There is also the issue of potential loss of respect and credibility to the students’ reputation both within the academic community and the society at large. This happens when individuals are known to have engaged in cheating, their images are tarnished, their accomplishments suffer credibility challenges and their integrity becomes questionable in the eyes of the community. The potential loss of respect can have perpetual repercussions on the students’ professional and personal relationships. It further undermines the faith and trusts that, employers, institutions and society place in their qualifications and capabilities, thereby limiting future opportunities, growth and development.

The final detriment of examination malpractice is its ability to stifle ethical development amongst citizens. This act hinders development of ethical values and responsible citizenship among students. It is essential to understand that, education is not just about acquiring knowledge; it also entails shaping individuals to positively contribute to society. Therefore, when engage in dishonest practices, students fail to internalise the essence of honesty, integrity as well as ethical behaviour. This further undermines their ability to become responsible citizens to uphold moral values and contribute to the advancement of their communities and national development.

In view of the above stated negative impacts of examination malpractices on students and national development, former president Mahama must be applauded for his courage, vision and selflessness by raising a legitimate concern about the pervasiveness of the unfortunate act. Being a former vice president and a president of this country comes with an avalanche of sources and information that only few within the society have access to. Therefore, the concerns raised by the former president can never be a figment of his own imagination, but based on reliable sources. Former president John Mahama has exhibited an act of patriotism and concerns for the development of today’s students who are tomorrow leaders, because seeing no evil and hearing no evil is not a mark of a good leader. The consequences of him shying away from raising the issue will perpetuate the current compromised learning outcomes which will inevitably damage students’ integrity and extend beyond the immediate academic settings, with a far reaching negative impact on our national development.

Long Live Ghana,
Author: Awudu Razak Jehoney
Email: [email protected].