Taming the educational monsters in Africa: rescue and reformation intervention strategies of an educational counselling psychologist

The educational monsters ravaging schools in Africa include examination malpractices (cheating in tests), cultism, sexual harassment or sex for marks, plagiarism, nepotism, maladministration, indecent dressing, violence, and other
corrupt practices. This paper provides a detailed account of the rescue and reformative strategies employed to tame these monsters. It highlights the damaging impacts of the educational monsters and proffers methodologies that have been used to tame them. The methodologies are classified into “punitive” and “preventive” approaches with their relative effectiveness highlighted. The governments and authorities of educational institutions have promulgated and propagated punitive strategies towards combating the monsters especially examination malpractices and sexual harassment (Federal Government of Nigeria, 1999, 2020) but with limited success hence the need for the preventive approach.

The preventive approach formed the basis for the Ossai (2004, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2020) studies. The 2018,2019 amp; 2020 studies used an Examination Malpractice Attitude Questionnaire (EMAQ), developed in the 2004 and 2013 studies, to identify 120 Higher Education students who have high tendencies towards indulging in examination malpractices. They were assigned in equal number (40) to two treatment groups (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) and Video therapy) and the control group. Comparative data analysis of pretest, post-test, and observations’ checklist in actual examination conditions scores found significant effects of the treatment therapies over the control group. The Video therapy group showed better-reformed behaviour over the REBT group. This preventive approach seems more promising in the combat formation against the rampaging examination malpractices (cheating in tests) monster in Nigeria based on the findings from the studies. Details of the tactical outlay and repertoire of how they have been deployed in the aforementioned research studies and professional practice are subsequently reported in this paper.