THE STRATEGIES OF ELIMINATING EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF PORTHARCOURT would be an enormous task but yet it can be formulated and this evil mushroom cut and defeated once and for us. However the task requires collective efforts of all in order to produce and enforce the said strategies that will see to the elimination of all for of examination malpractices within the campus of the institution.
Nevertheless, we need to see briefly into the history of the institution and from their device our said strategies. The University of Portharcourt, one of the “second generation” universities of the federal republic of Nigeria, was established in 1975. Apart from the national aspiration of raising the educational and manpower level, the new university was created as a means of addressing regional imbalance.
When founding fathers received this mandate of the federal government, their wish was to build a truly unique citadel of learning where academic excellence, not borne out of routinely aping academic or administrative practices, traditions or programmes of older universities, would be established in concert with the development of edifying infrastructure that could sustain a select community of researchers, teachers and students.
The University of Portharcourt was to be built on the campus concept, with academic, residential, social, and cultural facilities for a total population of about 50,000 inhabitants. It thus serves as a satellite town to Port Harcourt, itself raising the economic base and cultural activities of the region. A teaching hospital was also to be built to complement the medical college within the university.
In 1977, the university was formally founded on the temporary premises of an emergent trade school close to its future permanent site, a thirty square kilometer parcel of virgin land, for the development from ‘scratch’ of the ‘permanent site’. The location of the university is 20km north-west of Port Harcourt city, Nigeria’s second largest sea port and the hub of petroleum and gas activities.
The university lies alongside a federal trunk A highway, the east-west road, which makes it accessible, and nearby is the Port Harcourt international Airport which facilitates contacts between the institution and the outside world.
The location of the university is unique, lying in between the southernmost part of the West African tropical rain forest and the northern fringe of wetland/swamps, rivers and mangrove forests that make up the Niger delta, which drains into the Atlantic Ocean at the gulf of guinea.
The university was at first organized into six schools of study. As part of its mission to bring quality education to a region identified as less developed the university operates a school of basic studies programme for a one year remedial in the sciences. The institution has two model demonstration schools, one primary and the other secondary. It has also established another ‘international secondary school’ as an arm of its college of continuing education in the city of Port Harcourt aimed at firmly grounding the symbolic relationship between ‘town and gown’. By 1985, sandwich degree programmes were introduced in the faculty of education, with the following components; post – ACE, PGDE and M.Ed.
With a graduate population of over 30,000, an academic staff strength of about 1, 000
and eight colleges/faculties, the University of Port Harcourt has established itself as a haven and a citadel of excellence for those who quest for specialized knowledge.
The master plan first commissioned in 1976 was reviewed. An aggressive guest for support to finish uncompleted projects and refurbish others. The university at present has a triadic campus set-up named parks; the academic, administrative and residential facilities are located on these parks. The parks are the University Park (or Abuja) which is also the permanent site of the institution; the delta park, where the administrative building which have now move to Abuja Park was formerly located and the Choba Park which is the temporary site.
The University of Port Harcourt commenced operations on a note of optimism and zeal, to be the best among its peers. in 2003/20004 and 2005/2006 she was rank as the best institution in the country and has since then produced world class graduates that can compete anywhere in the world.
The current administrative set up of the university includes the following person:
VICE-CHANCELLOR: Prof Joseph A. Ajienka
DEPUTY VICE CHANCELLOR (admin): Prof Tony Arinze
DEPUTY VICE-CHANCELLOR (academics): Prof B.J.O Efiuvwevwere
REGISTRAR: Mrs.Matilda Nnodim
BURSAR: Mr. Mark Roman
LIBRARIAN: Dr. (Mrs.) Obiageli C. Nwodo
Examination malpractice can be defined as all form of cheating which directly or indirectly falsify the ability of the student outside an examination hall and any involvement in all illegal examination-related offences.
A. CHEATING WITHIN AN EXAMINATION HALL/ROOM.
1. Coping from one another and exchanging question/answer sheets
2. Bringing in prepared answers, coping from textbooks, notebooks, laboratory specimens or other instructional aids smuggled into the examination hall.
3. Collaboration with an invigilator/lecturer where it involves the lecturer proving writing answer to a student
4. oral/written communication between/amongst students
5. Bringing in prepared answered sheets or oral from any person outside the examination hall
6. Receiving information whether written or oral from any persons outside an examination hall.
7. Refusal to stop writing at the end of an examination
9. Illegal removal of answer script from the examination hall
10. Non-submission of answers script from the examination hall.
B. CHEATING OUTSIDE THE EXAMINATION HALL/ROOM
1. Plagiarism is a form examination malpractice and should be investigated and punished. Plagiarism is the use of another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement in the text and in the references at the end.
2. Colluding with a member of staff or any other person to obtain or on his own initiative obtaining set questions or answers before hand.
3. Colluding with a member of staff or any other person to modify or on his own initiative modifying students score cards, answer scripts and mark sheets
4. Colluding with a member of staff or any other person in order to submit a new prepared answer script as a substitute for the original script after an examination
5. Writing of projects, laboratory and/or field reports on behalf of a student by a member of staff.
6. Soliciting for help after an examination.
7. Secretly breaking into staff office or departmental office in order to obtain question papers, answer scripts or marks sheets, or substituting a fresh answer script or the original script
8. Refusing to co-operate with the faculty investigating panel or the senate committee on examinations malpractices in the investigation of alleged examination malpractices.
B. RELATED OFFENCES
1. Producing a fake medical certificate\
2. Assault and intimidation of the invigilator within or outside the3 examination hall.
3. Attempting to destroy and/or destroying evidence of examination malpractices
4. intimidating/threats to exhort sex/money/other favours from students by members of staff in exchange for grades
PUNISHMENT FOR EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES
A student found guilty of any form of examination malpractice in A above, has the result in the course cancelled and suspended for one semester for a first offence. Suspension for one session is the punishment for a second offence.
A student found guilty in any form of examination malpractice in B above has the result in the course cancelled and is suspended for a session for the first offence. Expulsion from the university is the punishment for a second offence
A student found guilty of any offences in C above is expelled from the university. Member of staff involved in aiding and abetting students in examination malpractice should be made to appear before an investigation panel. If the member of staff is found guilty, the report should be sent to the appropriate Disciplinary Committee.
I have been involve in series of university examination malpractices within this campus and other universities and I think I would be in a clear position to speak and tell about the best strategies to combat and beat this evil from our institution as well as our entire society. Fighting this evil will never be that easy as it has eaten deep within the fabrics of students here in the university of port Harcourt as student constantly device means to beat any trap of detecting or eliminating examination malpractice in the campus.
However the following can be described as best strategies to eliminate examination malpractices in the University of Portharcourt. They includes,
1. Only serious and academic minded students should be admitted into the university
2. All matriculated students should be offered authentic university school identity cards carrying their clear pictures and full names
3. Each faculty and departments should provide for its students a cleared detailed identity card too and notify lecturers the number of students per course.
4. Lecturer should abide by their professional ethics by being disciplined and committed to sound reason and academic development.
5. Each lecturer should ask all student of his course to submit a passport photo which the lecturer would use to form a photo identity that acts like an examination pass.
6. Regards to no 5 above, an examination card should be provided to all students preparing to write a school examination course with their full photo embodied on it.
7. Strict adherence to the rules and regulations guiding the offences of examination malpractices
8. All culprits should be made to face the university laws relating to punishment stated for offended.
9. Full support should be given to any investigative panel relating to cases of examination malpractices
10. The school should set up an examination investigative panel team and provides full autonomy and backings to them in order to carrying out their activities and functions
1. University of port Harcourt school calendar 2005
2. Brochure of the school of general studies, university of Port Harcourt (2010)
3. Brochure and statement of academic policies, faculty of education
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