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Exam malpractice affects educational system

Pupils in class.

Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
NEXT week schools open for the third term – when examinations are held and sadly, examinations have become synonymous with malpractices or ‘mwembeshi’ as it is often referred to.
Exam malpractices are no longer common in tertiary institutions but have spread throughout the education system; even mature students who are expected to lead by example are indulging in this unfortunate vice.
What is sad is that people are not even ashamed to indulge in exam malpractices, which threaten the quality of education in the country. In some cases, while peers are preparing for exams, some students would rather pay their way through school at the expense of those who genuinely study to get good results.
The biggest challenge is that the undeserving usually benefit at the expense of those who work hard. Examination malpractices encourage laziness and it impedes mental development on the part of those who indulge in exam malpractices.
The effect of examination malpractice discourages genuine students from studying hard because it denies them a fair chance for advancement. This is because students who participate in exam malpractice generally perform better, thereby increasing their chances of admission into higher institutes of learning. However, from experience, students who cheat during exams generally find it difficult to progress when stringent invigilation measures are implemented.
Examination malpractices can result into delays in processing and releasing results. When suspicions arise regarding such malpractice, it takes a considerable period of time to investigate the cases; sometimes examinations have to be re-set and re-written, which is not only time-consuming but can be an expensive undertaking.
Because of examination malpractices, the reputations of some education institutions have been damaged. For this reason, most students and academicians prefer to be associated with institutions that are ‘squeaky clean’ in terms of reputation. Once involved in cheating during exams, it is almost impossible to avoid being labelled as a cheater even after making amends.
Examination malpractice can also impact the educational system and the society as a whole. This has contributed to churning people who are ill-prepared to perform their roles when they join the industry; this in turn negatively affects the economic growth of a country.
Cheating should never be tolerated and children should be discouraged from cheating as soon as they are old enough to know right from wrong – charity begins at home.
Remember, children are our future. Until next week, take care.

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