Repeated mistakes should be viewed as a character failure on the part of the doer or a very well and meticulously planned pattern of events executed with mastery and driven by sinister motives. Given deeper thought, the perpetrator should be taken to book as either a person with criminal intent or clinically insane.
We all know that droughts almost always lead to famine, or the threat of one, and that heavy rains are likely to cause floods. But should the outcome of having an education system always mean massive cheating of examinations? Now that is unnatural, if you ask me!
When results of the national form four examinations were released early this month, newspaper headlines were very similar to those when the standard seven examination results were released last year. The number of students, like their younger brothers and sisters before them, caught in the act of cheating had increased.
But I have also tried to muse as to how these kids can be capable of cheating on their own. Without any assistance from someone who knows better the students and the pupils, I find it impossible for these kids to succeed in their illegal endeavors if they are not aided and guided by adults.
Allowing the habit of pupils and students cheating in their examinations to go unabated is allowing society to cripple itself. No society has ever made any movement forward, as in progress and not otherwise, by trampling on education at will. Let us look at the pupils and students as individuals.
The idea of educating these individuals, each to each, is to promote the individual’s innate abilities and to try and develop in the individual a sense of responsibility in and for his community and not just personal glorification. Considering the ages of these individuals (pupils and students), it is important to strike the rod while it’s hot.
We live in a competitive world today; individuals tend to look at acquisitive success as a better way, to some perhaps the only way, to prepare for a future. But instilling a sense of responsibility for community (society) and looking beyond individual’s success at an early age in our young lads and girls could be a way of deterring these young individuals from selfish inclinations and to steer them into thinking above acquisitive success.
This would never be accomplished by allowing cheating in our schools. Cheating does not only fail to prepare a child to think correctly and make sound and informed decisions on their own, it defeat the whole purpose of education. Albert Einstein once told a group of school children he met: “Bear in mind that the wonderful things that you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labour in every country of the world.
All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honour it, and add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common. If you always keep that in mind you will find meaning in life and work and acquire the right attitude towards other nations and ages.”
If the likes of geniuses like Einstein not only understood but also respected the need for hard work to whatever God-given individual gifts, why would we go and allow our children cheat in their examinations. We simply are not doing enough to end the problem. As stated, students and pupils must be instilled with the fear of even thinking of cheating.
They should be made to loathe the vice and anyone suggesting it. That getting a certificate alone is not enough, they should be taught, because one will have to prove himself/ herself in later life, and they probably would not have the time to learn again because they never had that interest in them to begin with.
I don’t want to believe that we are a fried fish, not just as yet; we still can go back into the water and swim back to life. But it is going to take more than just a little wriggling to get us back into the fold. From the looks of things, we are too lax a people. As is it, we already have a number of people in high offices whose capabilities are questionable despite impeccable, outwardly, academic credentials.
Then one starts thinking perhaps the cheating in schools started some generations back we just didn’t know it. But then again, if that were to be true, we are indeed already a crippled society; we just don’t know that fact yet. And no matter how good we are at concealing our limping movement, others have noted, they are just lying in wait!