The examination is also seen as an assessment given to students to test their competence and check if their learning has been effective. At certain points in different levels of institutions, students are required and mandated to write external exams. These external exams are organized by special and certain examination bodies. The external exams determine their promotion to the next phase of their educational career.
Examination linkages can be referred to as the question papers that are being let out for some specified people after payment of a sum of money. Examination linkage is a form of examination malpractice that students use to have an idea of the questions meant to be asked in an examination before they sit for the real papers.
Examination leakages have become more rampant among the students of nowadays as they see it as an opportunity to pass without rigorous study. Students, especially the final year ones are usually found guilty of this act. Students get the questions for the examinations they want to write a few days or a few hours before the examination.
There is a joke the students crack among themselves saying, “ I will rather engage in exam malpractice than come out in dullards. This is because nobody wants to fail; they find the easier way out for excellent results. That is why they go the extra mile to pay examination officials to buy live exam papers. They also by all means bribe examination coordinators to transmit the questions supposed to be asked for future examinations before the day of the examination. This heinous and nefarious act is prevalent in the West Examinations Council (WACE), National Examinations Council (NECO), and many other national and international examinations.
One of the primary causes of the examination in schools leakages is shallow instruction. Most of the teachers fail to cover the syllabus for the pupils who want to sit for the examination. Some do not teach very well to do justice to all the likely questions that can come out in the examination papers. The insufficient information has not given the students the confidence to sit and pass themselves. A lack of confidence can make them do and undo. If such students find any dubious way to pass, he or they will be involved in it.
Students’ lackadaisical and non-challenge attitudes cannot be divorced from their involvement in this sinful act. Every student wants to pass, but not every student wants to read. Many students are so indolent that they cannot spend one hour per day reading. These students cannot take the pain of examination at all. But they can go the extra mile finding dubious ways, including live question papers. Funnily enough, they are ready to spend any amount to get it.
Another primary cause of examination leakages is technological advancements. With the increasing use of digital and social media, it has become easier for individuals to access and share information. As a result, examination papers can be easily leaked through digital and social media platforms, making it difficult to maintain the confidentiality of examination papers.
The carelessness of examination bodies
Carelessness on the part of the examination bodies causes examination leakages. The questions are usually carried about and handled without care. The way the examiners handle the questions is not secure and safe. Many people who have committed these questions there are not well trained in the confidentiality of live questions before the examination days. They carelessly expose the questions to their children, friends, and close relatives.
Another cause of examination leakages is corruption leakages within the educational system. In some cases, officials may collide with students or teachers to provide exam questions and answers in exchange for money or other favors. This can undermine the credibility of the examination process and create an unfair advantage for certain individuals. Not only this, Students, teachers, and even schools bribe examination bodies to provide questions to students before they sit for the same paper. When a big envelope is given, the examination official(s) having direct access to the questions cannot but accept to provide the questions due to greed and indiscipline.
Examination fear and how to pass the examination lure many students into searching for illegal ways to pass their papers. For instance, a student who has written some papers in an examination several times but failed will develop fear when e or she re-enrolls for the same examination. The student will be discouraged totally and begin to find a dubious way, including buying live questions by all means to pass.
The desperate political aspiration and eagerness to get into the position of authority are responsible. These days, many people want to be Local Government Chairmen, Governors, Ministers, Senators, etc. As we know that if one will take any of the positions, it requires certain certificates. Those who have not got the required certificates must get if he or she before he or she is eligible for registering for the position. These ambitions make a lot of people dabble in nefarious acts to pass examinations by all means.
Nothing is miserable like poverty. Many people initially do not think of looking for buying live questions but if poverty strikes and the person has access to the live questions, he can do every capacity at hand to spread the question in exchange for money.
Cost of education
The cost of education cannot be divorced when we are discussing examination leakages in schools. Many schools in Nigeria are receiving up to 6 million nairas as fees. And the parents who make efforts to pay such a huge amount must see the result. That is why most such schools find their way by illegally partnering with examination bodies to get out live questions before the dates of the examination.
One of the best ways to prevent examination leakages is to introduce secure penalties for those found culpable. The penalties could include imprisonment, hefty fines, or the permanent disqualification of the candidates from writing any future examinations. That is, strict laws should be made against examination leakages. Any student, school staff, or person caught getting examination questions before the examination dates, apart from authorized people, should be severely dealt with and face the wrath of the law.
Safe examination papers
Better still, Examination bodies should ensure that their examination questions are well-sealed and kept safe. They should be very careful when carrying examination papers from one place to another. Above all, confidentiality should also be their ethics.
Discipline cannot be divorced when talking about solutions to examination leakages in schools. The examination bodies should make sure that disciplined people work for them. The examination bodies at all levels should ensure that they employ people of a high level of integrity and fear of God – the people that will not easily surrender himself/herself to any bribery and corruption.
Another viable solution is the education of stakeholders such as exam officials, invigilators, candidates, and the public on the dangers of examination leakage. There should be awareness campaigns and training sessions to inform them about the implications of examination leakages and the need for everyone to work together to prevent them.
Examination leakages in external examinations have severe consequences on the education system. It is therefore essential to identify the causes and proffer practical solutions to prevent it to eliminate examination leakages and ensure the credibility of the educational system.