Examination malpractice is classified as one of the major social economic problem facing Nigeria of today. It’s no more a challenge to the educational institution alone but challenge all other institutions existing in the social entity of the nation.

Today, many educational bodies in Nigeria has resolved to expelling students caught involving in examination malpractice even the National Assembly has since 1999 promulgated an act to this effect. The act, Examination Malpractice Act 1999, was promulgated to regulate examination malpractice of any form in the examination body or any other body established by the government.

Expulsion, although has been implemented in some instances but has not actually curb the menance of examination malpractice in Nigeria. It has cause many dangers more than cures and hence needs to be revisited.

This article discuss whether or not expulsion is the best punishment and concluded that NO, it’s not. In order to achieve the conclusion, the article discuss what exams and exams malpractice mean. Causes and Effects of Examination malpractice, is expulsion the best solution to examination malpractice? Lastly, recommendations are preferred on how to curb examination malpractice are proferred.



Examination is a mechanism through which the students’ understanding on a subject matter is assessed. It can be defined as spoken or practical test at school or college especially an important one that you need to do in order to get a qualification .

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, examination is defined as“an exercise designed to examine progress or test qualification or knowledge”. Examination is regarded by all and sundry as a test of knowledge .

Examination malpractice on the other hand is defined as any deliberate act of wrong doing, contrary to the rules of examinations designed to give a candidate an undue advantage. Examination malpractice, also known as cheating, is the illegal action that students take during their examinations to try to make good grades by cutting corners. Examination malpractice is an act or irregular manner of testing candidates which contravenes the rules and conventions guiding the conduct of examinations. It is any irregular behaviour or act exhibited by candidates or anybody charged with the responsibility of conducting examination in or outside the examination hall, before, during or aftersuch examination with the aim of taking undue advantage.

Section19 of The Examination Malpractice Act[vii] defines Examination malpractice as an act which constitutes an offence under this act. But simply put, as the phrase implies, it means a deliberate wrong doing contrary to official examination rules designed to place a candidate at unfair advantage or disadvantage.



The causes of examination malpractice is not a one way traffic, not even a two way traffic neither a three way traffic even not a four way traffic but rather a five way traffic. It’s the combined efforts of the students, parents, teachers/lecturers, examination body itself and the society at large.

Students failed to prepare for exams and parents don’t scold their children anymore to prepare. Teachers failed to give the adequate to children but they are ready to help them with malpractice so far they can pay. The examination bodies also sell results to students or schools who are ready to pay and the society at large sees nothing wrong in examination malpractice again, it’s now a custom! Most Nigerians today believed that you can’t pass any exam if you don’t do malpractice, what a shame on our educational sector!



“Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating in the examinations by the students.” These words above were posted for contemplation at the entrance gate of a university in South Africa .

The prevalence of examination Malpractice has been so injurious to the Nigerian society. Notable among the effects of Examination Malpractice is the decline in the standard of education, increase in corruption rate, bad image of the country in the international world, death of professionalism and lots more.



Nevertheless the harsh punishment placed on examination malpractice by Nigeria government, it doesn’t cease to rise. Examination malpractice is a big cankerworm that has eaten up the root of Nigeria educational sector.

Examination malpractice needs to be treated and not exposed to another danger. An adage saying in Yoruba which is translated thus “The cure to headache is not by cutting the head”. Truly the pain caused by the headache might be severe but cutting it off can never be option treatment alone can do.

An expelled student will be exposed more to dangers in the society for instance, after spending years in school, he may feel like not furthering anymore especially in this era where “yahoo-yahoo” has become the order of the day. He’s liable to join cult, criminals and perpetrate all other evils. Even he may parade himself as a professional in his field of study where he was expelled, for instance we’ve seen instance where a final year student is expelled. Imagine someone who has already spent five years studying law and was caught in his last paper for examination malpractice, if such student is expelled, he has known almost the nitty-grity of law he might parade himself as a lawyer in a competent court of law. It will be so hard for someone to notice if he’s a lawyer or not samething as a medical student, he will parade himself as a medical doctor carrying out surgery at his wills is this not more dangerous than what he’s done earlier?.

From the sociological perspective, he doesn’t just perpetrate examination malpractice something must have led him to such, let’s look back to that and treat it. No one is born a criminal but society made people to be criminals. For instance, in Nigeria of today, we’ve seen certificate as the determinant of what someone can offer which is not true, this has led many to engage in examination malpractice so as to have a good degree and can be at benefit of what life can offer.

More so, students engaged in malpractice because teachers/schools failed to give then the accurate things they need. We must also tackle this so as to have an educational sector that will be well equipped and challenging to students success.

Although, the intent of the pareut is not that offenders shouldn’t be punished but equity and justice must be ensured while expulsion must be forfeited. A system that expelled the erring student alone and failed to address other way round where the faults come from is not only accepted but repugnant to justice, the system will only lead the forthcoming generation to believe that cheating is a matter of being smart.

Examination malpractice might be dangerous to the educational system but expulsion should not be the cure. We need to cure the system generally. We need to cure the student involved, teacher, parent, educational body and the society at large.




Over the years, examination malpractice has become something normal in our land, although government has placed some measures in place to see to the eradication of the cankerworm but no positive has all the measures birth.

Among the policies is the expulsion of such student. Expulsion has done more harm than cure, it has endanger and expose the victims life to more harm than cure them.

The writer humbly conclude that this policy should be repealed and the following recommendations should be implemented for the successful eradication if not all but to the bearest minimum of examination malpractice in Nigeria.




1. The best punishment for such offender is Reformation. Government should enforce Reformation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in such instance.

2. Offenders should be prosecute and if found guilty be sentence. At this point, government should ensure that the prison is in compliance with the United Nations Standard Rules of Rehabilitation of Prisoners in order to make the convict to abandon his antisocial activities. If this is enshrined, the convict will still have the ability to further his education and on the long run will realize his grievous mistake.

3. Students should be enlightened on the effects of examination malpractice.

4. Educational institutions must be well equipped to give the students the essential things they need and any institution that failed to meet the standard should be denied operation as that will curb incompetent personalities to venture into establishing schools. Such incompetent personalities are not ready to give students what they need but they are capitalists trying to maximize profits, they can follow any means to attain it.

5. Teachers, Parents and any other person aiding or sponsoring examination malpractice should be seriously death with.

6. We must ensure that we place value on what people can offer and not what is on their certificate. This will make students to developed their intellects by so doing develop their grades but not certificates alone as seen in Nigeria of today.

7. We must also ensure that education is valued and compensation should be encouraged at all level. Imagine if the 90 million given to BB Naija winner is given to a best graduating student as compared to #10,000 as it’s done in some institutions . Students will surely prepare hard in achieving their goals.

8. Employment should also be provided. Because of the high rate of unemployment, students have noticed that few places where they can get work, they need high qualifications thereby leading them to perpetrate examination malpractice.

9. In all, corruption at all levels and corners should be reduced to the nearest minimum. It’s the reflection of corruption in other sectors that shows it’s face in the educational sector. When corruption is reduced, then we can have a good malpractice free educational system.


Until and unless we come to that level and agree to do things right, we will continue to have this number.

About The Author

Keulere Nabil Olarewaju is a law student of the Faculty of Law, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna state. He is a legal researcher and author.