The breach of professional expertise in our education system leads to raising incompetent students and future professionals. Examination malpractice has done more harm than good, many students are weak educationally because their academic process has been built on a faulty ladder. Malpractice effects in mismanagement, misconduct in pupils and even negligence in legal means of achieving success.
Recently, in the United States celebrities, coaches and other influential people have been charged with corruption and bribery. The scandal which has been a major topic is related to wealthy parents aiding their children to get into the best universities in the country. In some of the cases, the children are unaware of these dealings. One will ask whether parents assisted their children in order to maintain their personal social status or is it just a means of helping their wards secure a promising future?
The fraud conspiracy involved a huge amount transferred to a particular Mr. Willian Singer who allegedly received more than 25 million dollars from March 2011 till the moment he was charged in February 2019. One of the arrangements is that he categorized the students as athletes. In the United States, sports is a big deal as it brings in finances to the universities which is why the academic requirements are often reduced to bring in potential talent. The most outrageous involved classifying the students as disadvantaged or having some learning disabilities to grant them extra time and provide them special conditions.
This was alarming and went over the news and media houses in the United States. Some of the celebrities were charged and stripped of their contracts, sponsorships, and deals. The case is still open and serious investigations are ongoing. Civil society termed the scandal as unbelievable, immoral acts, impossible, injustice, etc…
Unfortunately, in most parts of Africa, this is not the case. Education malpractice and corruption are cultural and consistently a means of living. It is more like « you use what you have to get what you want » mentality. Cheating, though an illegal act, is common and many students get good grades by cutting corners. It is just as politicians rig elections to get into offices so do students cheat and partake in all sorts of misconduct to achieve success as they climb the educational ladder. Why is the cost of success this expensive even when it entails moral misconduct?
In the case of William Singer, he supposedly dealt with an important sum of money and relatively the wealthiest parents while, in the developing countries, even the middle-class parents and sometimes the impoverish ones involve themselves in educational malpractice. It is a societal mindset including depicting identities, illegal conspiracy and aiding and smuggling of question papers and answers in and out of the exam halls.
Like we say, it is easier to blame the government for bad policies in Africa but, if each person makes a conscious decision to be honest in their dealings, the continent will be transformed. Education should focus more on creating skills and giving practical experiences rather than aiming for a certificate. To what extent is having a certificate or degree that one cannot defend?