The Impact of Cultism and Examination Malpractices on the Quality of Education in the 21st Century Nigeria

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Many Nigerians were aware of the rot in the nation under the years of military dictatorship, but hardly knew the magnitude of the rot. As it is with the nation, so it is with the education sector; only those saddled with the responsibility of administering our education system can appreciate the crisis in the education system. And just as the damage done to the nation will take a long time to correct, sanitizing the education sector will take quite some years of continuous and determined reformation. Many reform measures do not bear fruits overnight. This is even more so in the education sector. For example, the impact of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s free primary education was not fully felt among the Yoruba till the civil war and after, when they had to occupy Federal positions abandoned by the Igbo. The twin evils of campus cultism and examination malpractices entrenched themselves in the campuses during the years of military despotism. They are product of the years of decay while the nature of inter-campus linkages of cult groups as well as the sophistication with which malpractices are now being perpetuated in various examinations has made the matter more difficult to rout (Omabu, 2003).

Aims and Objectives of Education in Nigeria
Education has been described as the best legacy that any nation or individual could leave behind for generation yet to come. It is an invaluable asset, therefore, to both the individual and the society; since it has been also used from time immemorial, as a veritable instrument of cultural transmission. Thus education, in one form or the other, had always been an integral part of the human society. Generally, forms of education could be broadly categorized into formal and informal. Whereas, the former takes place in a formal or official setting, compartmentalized and certificated with designated learners and teachers, the latter is not so clearly designed. It has a longer life-span commencing from birth and ending in the grave, with everyone around the learner constituting his teacher even as no certificate is required. Yet, this form of education is as important as the former; if not more; if only for the fact that it is quite a practical thing with all the evidences of effective and functional noble expectations and objectives of the formal system of education. Indeed, it has a multilateral aim with the end objectives being to produce an individual who is honest, respectable skilled and cooperative and conforms to the social order of the day. According to Fafunwa (1974), seven aspects of these educational objectives can be identified and these include:- 1.To develop the child’s latent physical skills.

2.To develop character.
3.To inculcate respect for elders and those in position of authority. 4.To develop intellectual skills.
5.To acquire specific vocational training and to develop a healthy attitude towards honest labour. 6.To develop a sense of belonging and to participate actively in family and community affair. 7.To understand, appreciate and promote the cultural heritage of the community at large. Thus, it was for good reasons that the Nigerian formal education system took after these objectives as enunciated in the National Policy on Education (1981). According to Policy, the broad objectives of Nigerian education should emphasize such things as:- i.The inculcation of the right type of value attitudes for the survival of individual society. ii.The training of the mind in building valuable concepts, generalizations and understand of the world around. iii.The acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competencies of both mental and physical nature as equipment for the individual to live in his society. iv.The acquisition of relevant and balance knowledge of facts about local and world phenomena. In the light of the first two objectives above, Nigerian education was to be geared towards self realization, better human relationship, self and national...
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