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Development of Academic Information Monitoring System for Nigerian Universities

Academic information monitoring system- CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

            Universities produce high-level manpower in various fields. There are conventional universities which produce graduates in the pure and applied sciences and arts. There are also specialized universities, which produce graduates in their areas of specialization. In the latter category there are: universities of technology, universities of agriculture and one military university. By the end of 2013 there were 128and 152 by the end of 2017 universities in Nigeria. The duration of studies in universities ranges from three to seven academic sessions, depending on the nature of the programme. An academic session consists of nine months, divided into two semesters of fifteen to eighteen weeks each. First year entry requirement into most universities is a minimum of SSCE/GCE Ordinary Level Credits at maximum of two sittings. In addition, minimum cut-off marks of 180 and above, out of a maximum of 400 marks in Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Entrance Examination (JAMB) is required.

            Students’ academic evidence usually provides both student and staffs with numerous services designed to support them in attaining their academic goals and management objectives respectively. The academic report of students are the assets of the university therefore, it is the one and only duty of the school to form policies concerning uniformity in the kind of information collected and recorded (Eludire, 2003). Nigeria’s National Policy on Education ensures that the policy addressed the perceived needs of the government in power and also to ensure that the education sector was supportive of government development goals. Nigeria’s vision of education as an instrument for national development is reflected in the National Policy on Education. The government relies on education as a springboard for its development and reform agenda. This is reflected in the emphatic resonance in the NPE that no nation can raise about the quality of its education system. The National Policy on Education defines the structure of Nigeria’s education and handles critical issues about the educational sector. The National Policy on Education document addresses the issues of imbalance in the provision of education in different parts of the country with regard to access, quality of resources and girls’ education. Education is organized into 9 years of basic education, 3 years of senior secondary education and 4 years of university. Universities worldwide which are now about 25,000 in number plays more and more vital roles in modern society and are consider as fundamental possessions for the nation in addressing numerous policy priorities (Bamiro and Boulton, 2012). It is unfortunate that all educational institutions in the developing world such as the Universities, Colleges of Education and polytechnics in Nigeria still operate under the manual method of lecture attendance, malpractice check and record keeping. The manual system in use is not competent because it consumes a lot of time and paper (Garcia et al, 2008). Class attendance for Students plays an important role in Nigerian Universities today.

            Academic monitoring is the process of observing students’ academic progress in one or more courses over a period of time. It is used by lecturers to compare the performance of a particular student to that of his/her classmates. It is also used to identify students who are struggling, excelling or underachieving. Information for examining students’ progress is usually collected in the form of test marks and lecturer assessment levels or grades. It is used to monitor the effectiveness of teaching across all courses. Academic monitoring is useful to student because it allows them to become conscious of their examination prospects and any difference between their current and predicted performance. The academic information monitoring system captures lecture attendance of student, number of lectures a lecturer delivered in a semester, monitor the lectures been delivered by the lecturers and take care of malpractice check in Examination hall in Nigerian Universities. Face Recognition is importance in providing biometric authentication with easy image possession that can be used for online and offline applications. Biometrics refers to the automatic identification of a person based on his or her physiological or behavioral characteristics.

            Tripathi (2011) defines biometric system as a pattern identification system which operates by getting biometric information from a person and extracts a feature set from the data which is acquired and helps in comparing this feature set against the template stored in the database. The human physical characteristics like face, hand geometry, fingerprints, voice, palm, signature and iris are known as biometrics and one of the most important techniques is the face recognition. When a person’s photograph is taken, it can be used by the computer for recognition. The coordinates of features such as the inside corner of eyes; the outside corner of eyes will be extract. From these coordinates a list of distances such as width of mouth and width of eyes will be computed. Recognition of faces is not just to recognize an individual but also to find out other personal data related with an individual such as other photos featuring the individual, blog posts, social networking profiles, Internet behavior, travel patterns, etc. all through facial features alone (Harley, 2011). A lot of questions have been raised on how to have access and know someone’s whereabouts and people with them at any day or given time (Cackley, 2015). Moreover, individuals have limited ability to keep away from or frustrate face recognition tracking unless they put their faces out of sight. This fundamentally changes the dynamic of day-to-day privacy by enabling any marketer, government agency or random stranger to secretly collect the identities and associated personal information of any individual captured by the face recognition system (Harley, 2011). Consumers may not know or be aware of the fact about them, what is being used for and it makes them not to know or approve how their personal information will be shared (Cackley, 2015).

            Most educational institutions’ administrators are concerned about student irregular attendance. Students staying away from school without permission can affect their overall academic performance. The usual method of taking attendance by calling names or signing on paper is time consuming and insecure hence inefficient. One of the solutions to address this problem is face recognition technology. Departments may specify a higher percentage and additional requirements where appropriate based on NUC minimum attendance requirement 75% of teaching and learning events. The full implementation of NUC policy on 75% attendance will go a long way to improve the performance of the student and has considerable impact on their performance. Students whose attendance falls below the attendance requirements are disqualified for summative assessment. This is because sometimes student may not attend lectures at all in a semester and still have in mind to write Exams. Several factors can influence the level of attendance including university culture, students hustling to meet up with high increase of fees, workload, teaching methods and the teacher. Class attendance can vary considerably across countries, universities and courses. The studied carried out by (Marburger, 2001) using economics students to find out that in the United States, their average rate of lecture attendance was 81.5%.

            Universities need to conduct examinations as yardstick for assessment. It is the most practical way of assessment in education. Examinations could be internal or external; it could be oral, written or both. Example of internal examinations are continuous assessment tests, terminal, semester and annual or promotion examinations. Example of external or public examination is the joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) and National Teachers’ Institute (NTI) conduct admission tests into tertiary institutions. In the university the lecturers use to complain that insufficient teaching and learning facilities, poor conditions of service of teachers, fear of failure by students and admission of unqualified candidate into universities are responsible for examination malpractice. This disorganized situation is having a negative result on the nation’s quality of education and the kind of certificates issued to students at different levels. So many people can no longer defend their certificate. Overall academic performance of student may considerably be affected because they are not consistent in class attendance and this leads them to be involved in exam malpractice (Geetha, 2016). Exam malpractice is now affecting our tertiary institutions and thus has become a societal problem. This current trend is alarming and calls for proper management in order to rid the school system of its consequences. In short, it has become a plague in the nation’s education system which needs to be given attention without delay. Insufficient concern to student’s wellbeing also increases the high rate of Exam malpractice (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke, 2005). Examination malpractice is any immoral behavior before, during or after any examination. Reasons for exam malpractice are the students’ laziness to attend lectures, low moral standard in schools; candidate’s fear of failure, lack of confidence in them, students’ exam preparation is not enough and 419 syndromes that have eaten deep into the life of our society.

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

            A number of challenges have been identified as a hindrance to the realization of access to good quality education in Nigerian Universities. There is no doubt that the insufficiency in delivering lectures has negative impacts on the general quality of basic education in Nigerian Universities. Managing the number of attendance or absence in the academic environment is a very big problem. Based on the fact that the amount of money that students pay for their education are high and they are lazy to attend classes, it leads to their poor academic performance and the reputation of the university in general is highly affected (Jain. U et al).  In some institutions, without a certain percentage of attendance, students are not allowed to sit for an examination while in some other institutions; attendance is part of the continuous assessment. Existing system of Academic information system in Nigerian University have been found to be prone to the following problems:

  1. The issue with the use of electronic  cards  or  password  based  system for attendance allows for pretense since cards or passwords can be shared or someone can ask other person to insert his/her card or password.
  2. Capturing attendance manually is not always accurate because students cheat by putting signature of an absent person and record their friends’ attendance falsely and it is time consuming.
  3. Overall academic performance of student may considerably be affected because they are not consistent in class attendance.
  4. When lecturers use the traditional attendance system of calling names and recording students’ presence on paper it is easily manipulated by the students because they can pretend and answer for their friends.
  5. Some lecturers may not attend lectures up to 35% in a semester and still set Exam questions for students.
  6. Based on the poor lecture attendance, students resort to examination malpractice.

1.3       AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

            The aim of this research is Development an Academic Information Monitoring System for Nigerian Universities that will be able to capture the number of lecture attendance, monitor lectures delivered by lecturers and monitor examination process in order to take care of malpractice check of students for Nigerian Universities.

The objectives are to;

  1. Design and create a web-based platform for real time monitoring of students’/lecturers’ attendance to classes.
  2. Build a structure to capture and store lecturers/students details using SQLite database.
  3. Design and create a structure that takes care of students’ course registration form.
  4. Design and create a platform to captures when lecturers deliver their lectures, because a lecturer maybe in attendance but did not deliver lectures.
  5. Design and create a platform to capture examination hall to help monitor malpractice.
  6. Design and create a platform that records examination process and takes still pictures for the purpose of monitoring.

1.4       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

            To attain the overarching goal of reaching the top twenty economies by year 2020, the Government realized the need to enhance development in key sectors such as education. In education, the goal is to develop a modern and vibrant education system which will provide for every Nigerian the opportunity and facility to achieve his or her maximum potential and provide the country with sufficient and skilled manpower. Reliable and secure University monitoring system is vital in today’s education with respect to number of lecture attendance, monitor the lectures been delivered and malpractice check in examination hall. Technology has been seen to provide efficiency in processing and management of all these information overtime. Attendance records are important to understand student progress and development. This system aimed to automate the attendance procedure of an educational institution using facial recognition technology. This will save time wasted on calling out names and it gives a perfect method of attendance marking. Adopting a medium that automates the process of attendance capturing, monitor the lectures been delivered by the lecturers and checking malpractice help to improve quality, increase throughput and reduce costs. Therefore, development of Academic Information Monitoring System for Nigerian Universities monitors the university academic duties by capturing the number of lecture attendance, monitor the lectures been delivered and malpractice checks of student for Nigerian Universities. In general, it reduces and solves the problems listed in chapter one which is associated with existing system of university academic duties. This research will be of immense benefits to Nigerian Universities because:

  1. The problem of pretense in the use of shared electronic cards or password based system for attendance will be addressed by using biometric recognition system which includes facial recognition.
  2. Capturing attendance using face recognition system helps because students’ attendance cannot be forged easily and academic performances will improve.
  3. With an electronic system that monitor the lectures been delivered, the lecturers will sit up to their responsibilities.
  4. Exam malpractices in the Nigerian universities will be reducing to the minimal.
  5. If the number of lecture attendance will determine if the student will write Exam or not, it will enable the students to be serious with their attendance.
  6. The registration of courses by students will be on time.
  7. This will improve the quality of students been produce in the Nigerian universities.

1.5       SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this research Development of Academic Information Monitoring System is for Nigerian Universities.

1.6       JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY

            There is no doubt that if the propose system is implemented will be more convenient than the existing one, the following are the features of the proposed system. The proposed application will use local host that will be available 24 hours a day. Both lecturers and students at school and at home can conveniently have access.

After a proper and effective implementation, the system will be able to identify students and lecturers and recognize their facial features. Once the features are recognized, the platform will increment the number of attendance. The system also monitors the lecture by taking the video record of the session. Supervisor watches the video and monitor the lectures been delivered. The platform also records video of exam surveillance which takes care of exam malpractice check.   

The proposed system automatically will improve the quality of students been produce in the Nigerian universities, thereby reducing errors and solve the problems in the existing system.

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