Cheating in examination, course work and assignment is common among universities. Since, examination is considered by students, parents, schools and the university as important milestone in achieving their respective goals, and as the sole determinant in seeking jobs or admissions in higher institutions of learning. The focus, mainly remain on achieving higher grades or marks. This makes students under tremendous pressure from parents and universities to do well. Some of the factors causing cheating include; peer pressure felt for fear of being ridiculed in case of failure, fear of falling hence not direct admissions to university for master as the failure must look for a working experience for two years. Some of the courses of cheating are listed below and possible solutions to each.
- Approaches to teaching, evaluation and learning adopted by educational institutions
Universities always put more effort on the completion of the course which the administrators would like lecturers to follow rigorously. Mainly based on covering whatever is indicated on the course outline and note making rote learning or cramming and verbatim of facts. Teaching and learning therefore, is reduced to preparing students for examination rather than what they actually can do and learn. Possible solution to this can be through advising the universities to avoid use of frontal teaching with the passive approaches to learning.
- Pedantic certificate
It is characterized by method of expression found in books. The board of examinations in our country generally demand bookish knowledge and hardly recognize any understanding and application of it. Learning thus becomes isolated rather than integrated. The students has little option rather than memorising hence, students with sharper memory can do well in examination and with poor memorising skill obviously will not do well. Since the main goal of students is to pass exams they will do what it takes even if it means cheating. Possible solution here can be involving students in both practical work and class work at the same time hence the students will be equipped with both the knowledge required.
- Length of mesters
Due too much need of money by the university administrators, they have been forced to reduce semesters to three months equivalent to 75 academic days or 35 studying hours especially Kenyatta University as compared to other Kenyan universities which has 45 studying hours per module. This will reduce the reading hours hence forcing students to cheat at the end of the semester examination. Government should reinforce the initial time allocation to semesters for students to find enough studying and revision time.
- Too much admission to the universities
This leads to congestion in the lecture halls and in the university as a whole. Large number of students attending the same lecture hall for same module taught by same lecturer can be tiresome to lecturer himself or herself hence lowering perfection of work by such lecturer. This will demotivate lecturer as a result most students will lag behind due to low supervision. At the time of examination, they will always do anything in order to pass including cheating. Admission to the university should be regulated by joint admissions board; this will result to decongestion of universities resulting to quality services.
- Boycotting classes
Some students avoids to attend classes without any proper reason hence they end up not making class notes but at the end of semester they are forced to seat for an examination. These students will do anything possible to pass examination. This can be reduced by random checking or doing random assessment tests as no student will want to miss examinations.
In conclusion, it is unfortunate that the bodies concerned are not taking necessary measures to reduce the ever increasing number of people passing through cheating and malpractices at different levels of education. Contrarily, only a percentage pass the relatively brain test questions hence students should reflect a true picture of themselves by passing the examination fairly without cheating.
Writer: Okumu Steven Omondi