Examination malpractice in tertiary institutions has been a longstanding concern, undermining the integrity of the education system. To shed light on effective strategies to curb this issue, The Harbinger recently conducted an exclusive interview with Dr. Sarah Monroe, a renowned expert in educational ethics and integrity. Dr. Monroe, who has dedicated her career to researching and implementing measures to combat examination malpractice, shared her insights on the root causes of this problem and the promising solutions that can be adopted. In this interview, she offers a comprehensive understanding of the issue and practical recommendations for students, educators, and institutions.

The Harbinger: Thank you, Dr. Monroe, for joining us today. To start, could you provide some insights into the key factors contributing to examination malpractice in tertiary institutions?

Dr. Monroe: Certainly. Examination malpractice in tertiary institutions is a multifaceted issue with numerous contributing factors. One of the primary drivers is the pressure to succeed, often due to the high stakes associated with exams. Additionally, inadequate preparation, lack of academic integrity, and the availability of technology for cheating all play significant roles. A culture that tolerates or even promotes malpractice can perpetuate the problem.

The Harbinger: What strategies can educational institutions implement to deter and prevent examination malpractice?

Dr. Monroe: Educational institutions should adopt a multi-pronged approach. First, they need to foster a culture of academic integrity through awareness campaigns and codes of conduct. Faculty should also design assessments that promote critical thinking and discourage rote memorization. Implementing secure testing environments, leveraging technology for proctoring, and randomizing questions can also deter cheating. Finally, institutions should have clear and consistently enforced consequences for those found guilty of malpractice.

The Harbinger: How can students be encouraged to embrace academic integrity and resist the temptation to engage in malpractice?

Dr. Monroe: Students must be educated about the value of academic integrity and the long-term consequences of cheating. Mentorship programs, where older students guide and support their peers, can be effective. Moreover, offering alternatives to traditional exams, such as project-based assessments, can reduce the incentive to cheat. Building a supportive learning environment where students feel they can ask for help without judgment is crucial.

The Harbinger: What role does technology play in combating examination malpractice, and what innovations are on the horizon?

Dr. Monroe: Technology is a double-edged sword in this regard. While it has enabled cheating, it also offers solutions. Institutions can use plagiarism detection software, secure online testing platforms, and AI-driven proctoring to identify and prevent malpractice. Innovations like blockchain-based verification of academic credentials are on the horizon, ensuring the authenticity of qualifications.

The Harbinger: Finally, what is the broader societal impact of curbing examination malpractice in tertiary institutions?

Dr. Monroe: Curbing examination malpractice has far-reaching societal benefits. It preserves the integrity of education, ensuring that degrees and qualifications are earned and recognized for their true value. This, in turn, leads to a more skilled and competent workforce, bolstering economic and social development. By instilling values of honesty and ethics, we also contribute to the betterment of society as a whole.

Curbing examination malpractice in tertiary institutions is an essential endeavor that requires the collective effort of students, educators, and institutions. Dr. Sarah Monroe’s expertise sheds light on the multifaceted nature of the issue and the comprehensive measures that can be taken to address it. It is a step toward fostering a culture of academic integrity and ensuring the long-term success and credibility of our education system.

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