MORAL VALUE AND MALPRACTICE BEHAVIOUR IN EXAMINATION IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN CROSS RIVER STATE
The main aim of this study is to investigate students’ moral value and malpractices behaviour in examination in tertiary institutions in Cross River State. To achieve the purpose of this study, one hypothesis was formulated. Ex-post facto research design was adopted for the study. One thousand undergraduate students were randomly selected for the study. The selection was done through the simple random sampling technique. The questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire was subjected to validation by expert in measurement and evaluation. The reliability estimate of the instrument was established through the split-half reliability method and it associate Spearman Brown Proficiency formula. Pearson Product moment correlation analysis was adopted to test the hypotheses at .05 level of significance. The result of the analysis reveals that students perception significantly relate with students malpractices behaviour in examination.
Examination is a potent instrument for judgement of knowledge or competence in every human endeavour especially in educational institution. For examination to be adjudged, to be free, fair and devoid of partiality, valid and reliable, it is necessary to urge that our educational institutions must endeavour to conduct examinations with all the seriousness it deserves, lest the entire nation is saturated with incompetent or half-baked and confused professionals who may bring disaster to our future development (Moronkola, 2004).
There is a new dimension to examination malpractice in Nigeria (Adenipekun, 2004). Today, examination malpractice is perpetuated by individuals who are desperate to pass and acquire certificates or degrees. Today, there is an unholy, unwholesome conspiracy to aid and abet examination malpractice by school heads, teachers, invigilators, parents, students and “mercenaries” whose motive is to make quick money rather than genuine love for the candidates (Adenipekun, 2004, Idaka, 2006).
Various efforts have been made to check examination malpractices in our institutions of learning. Unfortunately, the cankerworm called examination malpractice defies all educational attempts at curbing or completely eliminating it from our system. Consequently, Nigeria has been graded with reliability of half-baked graduates, low productivity and poor job performance, certificate racketeering and qualification inflation (Nwaba and Nwaba, 2005).
It is this reason that has informed the need for investigating the factors that are associated with the practice.
Number of cases of examination malpractices in some selected subjects that were readily available as at 1997, for 1990, 1992 and 1993
Subject 1990 1992 1993
Mathematics 1020 1,020 7218
English Language 980 4906 7466
Chemistry 442 2075 3122
Biology 281 4330 5465
Physics 272 2175 2966
Agric. Science 62 1072 2416
Geography 67 2189 2384
Economics 325 2460 2399
Government 320 2140 2287
Christian Rel. Knowledge 107 1350 1964
Literature 97 2275 2882
History 44 709 645
Source: Uwaidae, I. J. (1997) School factors as Determinants of WAEC Examination Malpractice in the SSS Mathematics Exam in Nigeria
Newstead, Franklyn and Armstead (1996) identified immorality and dishonesty as factor in examination malpractice. Newstead, et al (1996) carried out a study to investigate incidences and causes of cheating in examination. 942 students of different disciplines from a large English University were used. Twenty-one examination malpractice behaviour were structured in a questionnaire on reasons for cheating or not given for cheating. Responses were given to frequently and expressed in percentages.
In order to examine individual differences in examination malpractice, they calculated examination malpractice index from the results of the frequencies. The index is the mean percentages of yes responses given by each respondents across at 21 cheating behaviours. The index is used as the dependent variable in analysis of variance (ANOVA) involving gender, age, and achievement and reason for studying subject area. It was observed out that these variables are related to examination malpractice but that each affected the individual differently.
Results of the analysis on reasons for examination malpractice and non involvement also show a lot of individual differences. Most students indicate that they did not involve in examination malpractice because cheating is immoral or a dishonest act. Men gave this reason less than women, but not significantly so: t (892)=1.39; P>01); the older students gave the same reason for not cheating more than the younger ones. Over 80% of respondents who indicate that they did not indulge in examination malpractice gave immorality as their reason.
The result of the study conducted by Ali (1998) Ekpo (1992), agree with that of Newstead, et al (1996). Ali aims at finding out the influence of moral values on examination malpractice. A sample of 7,799 students from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria is used for the study through structured questionnaire. Forty percent of the graduate students, 49% secondary students and 35% of those in the primary school accepted that they indulge in examination malpractice.
Sixty (60) percent of the respondents indicates that there was nothing immoral about indulging in examination malpractice and 65% agree that examination malpractice is an acceptable for upward mobility. The findings add that majority of the students who are caught in examination malpractice express ignorance of immediate and ultimate consequences of their acts behaviour.
Ali’s finding reveals that morality is not primarily a character trait, but a function of the environment. He notes that the moral climate of a school is not only important but influences students’ tendency to indulge in examination malpractice than their individual’s level of morality. He also further argues that 75% of the respondents agreed that the low moral tone of their schools encourages cheating while 25% were of the opinion that examination malpractice is due to poor moral values of the individuals. Ali’s (1990) finding is in line with the thinking of Aristotle (384-322) that men and women are a product of the society. A disciplined environment encourages high morality.
Kohiberg and Turiel (1991) in their studies of character development agreed with earlier research findings that both the situational and the psychoanalytic interpretations of moral character have some validity. However, their research findings support a different developmental conception of moral character with more positive implications for moral education.
Kohlberg and Turiel (1991) note that a specific act of misconduct such as examination malpractice is largely determined by both situational factors and two general aspects of the child’s personality development. Such personality development include the intelligent prediction of consequences, the tendency to choose the greater remote reward, over the lesser immediate rewards the ability to maintain stable and focused attention and a number of other tracts. All these correlate with the child’s behaviour on experimental tests of honesty and child’s ability to resist other delinquent acts. The second aspect of personality that determines moral conduct is the level of development of the child’s moral judgment or moral concepts in their studies: six stages in the development of moral judgement were identified.
Kohlber and Turiel adopted an experimental method in a longitudinal study of the same boys who were studied at different stages of 10,13,16,19 and 22 years. They argue that the concept of stages implies universality of sequence under different cultural conditions. It also implies that moral development is not merely a matter of learning the set values or rules of the child’s culture but something more universal in development which occur in any culture. In order to examine this assumption, the same moral judgement method was used with boys of varying ages of 10, 13, 16, 19 and 22 in a Turkish cities and villages a Mexican city and village a Taiwanese city as well as the United States. The results indicate the same age trends in the Turkish, Mexican, Taiwanese and American boys studied.
The findings of the studies suggest that although the stages and sequences of moral development are universal, the rate and point of development are not the same. The studies also reveal that moral development varies as a function of culture.
In a similar study Kerbs (1991) attempting to define moral conduct (such as cheating) in terms of development opines that when children reach the 9th and 6th stages of principled moral judgement (stages 1 and 2) the cheat a great deal and majority of the judgement (stages 3 and 4) cheat a slight or moderate amount. Few children at the level of self-imposed moral principle (stages 5 and 6) do not chart.
Among a group of village students (USA) studied, only 11% of the subject at the level of moral principle cheated on an experimental test, whereas about a half of the conventional level subjects cheated.
This implies that examination malpractice is not a good indicator of moral character. Until the child has developed in adolescence a set of inner moral principles that prohibit it (Ukpor, 2004). During adolescence, examination malpractice behaviour may reflect either a lack of full development or moral values, that is, a failure to reach the level of moral principles or a discrepancy between action and moral values, possibly due to a variety of deficits in ego strength or ego abilities of other situational variables.
Ekpo (1991) carried out a study to determine the relationship between parents’ educational background and examination malpractice. A randomly sampled number of 538 students were used for the study. A t-test analysis of the data shows that there is no significant relationship between parents educational background and examination cheating tendency of students.
In a study carried out by Ukpor (2004) to examine the instigators of examination cheating tendency among senior school students in Akpabuyo Local Government Area. A total of 240 respondents were randomly chosen. The data was analyzed using Pearson product moment correlation. The result reveals that students with low moral cheat more in school examination than those with high moral values. The study concluded that a significant relationship exist between moral values and tendency to cheat in examination (r=i.139, p<0 .05="" br=""> Ukpor asserts that the home is the first society or social environment of every person, it has an undoutable influence on the child’s socialization. Students from high academic background parents have more access to educational facilities at home than children (students) whose parents have low educational background. Willing et al (1993) studied the impact of social cultural and personal factors on achievement in schools for 397 students of different socio-cultural background. The study adopted strategies of random sampling to select 183 Hispanic children 97 Black children and 111 Anglo American children. Linear multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the degree to which each of socio-cultural school performance and personal factors might relate to achievement attributions and test anxiety. The family and social background data were obtained from school records.
The findings of the study indicate or suggest that the educational facilities available to different homes constitute a motivational factors to academic achievement and those that do not have these facilities perform poorly at school. Poor performance in most cases lead to socially deviant behaviours like examination malpractice.
This study was essentially a Ex-post facto. The target population involved in this study consisted of all undergraduate students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The accessible, population which the researchers believes typified and reasonability represented the target population, consisted of all students in secondary schools in Cross River State; one of the 36 states in Nigeria. A simple random sampling technique was adopted.
The research instrument, which was the questionnaire, comprised twenty (40) items, all of the Likert-type 4-point scale (strongly Agree-4 points, Agree-3 points, Disagree 2-points and strongly disagree 1 point). The respondents were required to indicate their level of agreement for each statement.
In terms of validity three experts in educational measurement and evaluation and psychology, affirmed, with 94% agreement, that the entire instrument was suitable for measuring what it purported to measure. Using the split-half reliability method and it associate Spearman Brown. The reliability index of the instrument was found to be 0.90. Data were collected through the use of questionnaire from the sampled institutions used for the study, through the use of the questionnaire from the sampled institutions used for the study. Through a very rigorous approach, and with the assistance of some persons mainly, to whom the researcher is very grateful, all the 1000 copies of the questionnaire were retrieved, and they were all properly completed, thus giving 100% return rate.
This hypothesis was tested in the study.
There is no significant relationship between students’ moral value and malpractice behaviour in the examination. Pearson product moment correlation analysis and One-way analysis of variance were used in testing the hypotheses. All the testing was done at .05 level of significance.
ANALYSIS OF DATA RESEARCH RESULTS
The presentation is done hypothesis-by-hypothesis.
There is no significant relationship between students’ moral value and malpractice behaviour in the examination.
The Independent variable in this hypothesis is students’ moral value; while the dependent variable is students’ malpractice behavior in examination. To test this hypothesis students’ malpractice behaviour in examination was correlated with their perception using Pearson product moment correlation analysis. The result of the analysis is presented in Table 2
Pearson Product Moment Correlation Analysis of the relationship between students’ moral value and their malpractice behaviour in examination (N=1000)
Variable X SD r.value
Students moral value 29.38 3.86
Malpractice behaviour 61.94 6.32
* Significant at .05, critical r = .062, df = 998
The result of the analysis as presented in Table 2 reveals that the calculated r-value of 0.746 is higher than the critical r-value of .062 at .05 level of significance with 998 degree of freedom. With this result this analysis, the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between student’s perception and malpractice behaviour in the examination was rejected. This result implies that, student’s moral value has a significant relationship with their malpractice behaviour in the examination.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
The result of the first hypothesis reveals that students’ moral value has a significant relationship with their malpractice behaviour in the examination. The finding of this hypothesis is in line with the view of Kohiberg and Turiel (1991) in their studies of character development agreed with earlier research findings that both the situational and the psychoanalytic interpretations of moral character have some validity. However, their research findings support a different developmental conception of moral character with more positive implications for moral education. Kohlberg and Turiel (1991) also note that a specific act of misconduct such as examination malpractice is largely determined by both situational factors and two general aspects of the child’s personality development. Such personality development include the intelligent prediction of consequences, the tendency to choose the greater remote reward, over the lesser immediate rewards the ability to maintain stable and focused attention and a number of other tracts. All these correlate with the child’s behaviour on experimental tests of honesty and child’s ability to resist other delinquent acts. The second aspect of personality that determines moral conduct is the level of development of the child’s moral judgment or moral concepts in their studies: six stages in the development of moral judgement were identified.
Based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that;
Teacher and counselor should help identified their real self and potential this will help them to be self reliance and dependent. School authority should ensure that teachers perform their duty effectively by avoiding student involving in examination malpractice behaviour. Examination ethics code of conduct should be produced and distributed in schools and appropriate authorities. This will spell out duties and responsibilities as well as penalties needed for the conduct of examination in our educational system.
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