Students have been caught cheating, warned and even debarred when they have proved themselves to be incorrigible.
Diligent students who have worked hard right round the academic year feel let down when they find themselves being treated on par with some of their classmates who have been promoted as they resorted to copying in examinations.
On the other hand, students who do cheat feel that if they did not risk the malpractice, they would never hear the end of it from their parents besides being looked down upon by their peers and siblings.
Then there are instances of students running away from home and even attempting suicide when caught red handed in the act. When such a case is visualised in proper perspective, it is evident that the squad had meant to check the smooth functioning of the examination entered the room where the errant student was writing the examination, sending a chill down his or her spine resulting in the unfortunate decision of the student.
The copycat who deserves punishment ends up as the hero at the end of the day by sometimes making it to the newspaper headlines. The squad, the principal, the teaching and non-teaching staff are sent on an undeserving guilt trip for simply carrying out their duties sincerely by identifying the malefactor’s blatant blunder.
Then, when the surface of the matter is scratched and deeper introspection is employed, one can see that a lot of invisible hands are involved in doing the dark deed quite unintentionally.
The system and the expectations of the parents, teachers and the peer group are collectively responsible for the immature decision of the wrong doers. Students are pressurised to give their best shot to excel in examinations so that they can emerge as victors in the rat race.
One cannot really discount episodes where the students are led to believe that they could get away with unethical practices.
There are instances where the invigilators actually promise candidates to look the other way for a price when the black deed is being carried out in the examination hall.
There is also a section of candidates who opt to pay for a fake course certificate to university crooks to facilitate their job search.
Compromise in integrity
Compromise in integrity and ethics in the examination happens with unfailing regularity because the educational calibre of a person is determined by the marks obtained by him or her as a student in the board and university examinations.
Personal interest of the student and the core competency for studying the subject appear to be the subject of little or no interest to most of the parents and teachers.
It is a common practice in our country for students scoring high marks to be absorbed in the mainstream or the science stream by the colleges impervious of the fact whether the student has the aptitude for the subject. The cream is expected to opt for professional courses like medical or engineering.
These toppers are the most sought after in the marriage market and job scene, and are regularly placed in the summit of the social ladder.
Those who do not fare well in these examinations are largely doomed for the rest of their lives because they could not prove themselves academically. This practice has almost become a tradition in our educational system much to the chagrin of the students who may have talent and aptitude for other aspects.
It is high time we as a society start respecting the individual’s decision and his/her field of interest. Youngsters should be told that it is important for them to do well in the chosen area no matter what it is.
Innate qualities like honesty, sincerity and sense of purpose should be nurtured in young minds by both parents and teachers to build their moral profile. They should be sensitised to the fact that it is better to fail in honour than to flourish by cheating. Only then can we hope to populate our nation with responsible, dependable and sensible citizens who realise that education is a means to the end and not an end in itself.