Education is an essential means to transform lives, societies and economies. And undoubtedly, this is no a lie but a proved game changing ingredient. Proffering a cursory glance at the rest of world, we would find education making its presence felt. People are globally benefiting from the education. However, not only confining the production of education to their personal lives but also nurturing the society with honesty, impartiality and creativity, which in subsequent all consolidate and help in progress of the country.
The same education is uplifting the rest world to the skies but with no fruits in Pakistan is worth tensioning. Have you ever burnt your midnight oil trying to get satisfactory answer? I bit you have not. Let me not beat around the bush. The answer is crystal clear, it is cheating.
Yes, you heard it sound. Cheating is a corrupt practice which has become very common in our country. Cheating, in addition, is rather a striking symptom of a more pressing issue, which is made systematic, societal, ethical and psychological in nature.
It brings plenty of severe mischiefs and wrongs within. Cheating destabilizes our education system consequently making the meritocracy vitiated. Tradition of cheating is mainly observed in examinations of matriculation and intermediate. Talking about the examination bodies, Pakistan has around 31 matric and intermediate, or their religious equivalent, examination boards across the country, among which two — Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKUEB) and Ziauddin University Examination Board (ZUEB) — are private; four are religious, namely Madrassa Education Board, Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Ahl-e-Sunnat, Wafaq ul Madaris Al-Arabia, Wafaq ul-Madaaris al-Shia; and two are international examination bodies, that are Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Examining Board for the Diploma Programme (DP).
Apart from the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, there are almost eight provincial public examination boards in Punjab, seven each in Sindh and KP each, one in Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir each. These examination bodies administer annual exams through their network of assessment centres and appointed administrative staff.
But unluckily, these examination bodies have failed the merit system in the country. Annually, thousands of students are caught cheating in said examinations. Students, indeed, cheating in their matriculation and intermediate examinations, not only destroy their own lives but also infringe the other students’ rights.
A student with good faith gives tough time preparing his subjects but eventually ends up getting lower grades. Because the one was left untouched in examination hall attracted the good grades with his openly use of books, mobile phones and other source of materials.
And this is something really ironic. Taking an example, province Balochistan’s capital Quetta is a major and several ethnic populace with productive educational institutions is subject to check and balance followed by some protocols during examinations. Students appearing in the exams before the city procure their attendance with great preparation and do their questions papers with their first hand learning and knowledge.
On the other hand, a student appearing before a region where there is no means of strictness and protocol maintenance, is found freely and openly cheating with the facilitation from the administrative staff. See this now and put difference forward. This takes the due right of the deserving student. Because it is no any a rocket science to understand, seats before colleges and universities are fulfilled on merit and merit system completely lies upon achieving good marks and grades which students with no open unrestricted cheating takes away leaving the competent ones behind.
Cheating is an unethical practice engulfing the meritocracy in the country, says my respected Principal-Law College Quetta, Shamsullah Kakar in a table talk accompanied by our LL.B coordinator Nizam Bareech, prominent and disciplinarian Lecturer Imran Atta and lecturer Munir Khattak, the change agent.
“How to encounter this problem then sir?” I ask. Drawing a long breath says the esteemed Principal, “Introduction of timely measure by institutes will make the situation better.”
And what measurements should be taken to ensure the eradication of this vitriolic issue, without any halt I argued.
“Slap a major penalty on the students for cheating in exam but penalty must be for the teachers and invigilator for facilitating them,” answers renowned Imran Atta.
“Deployment of impartial supervisors and staff before the examination halls, confiscating the students’ mobile and strict checking them thoroughly will pave the way forward for the elimination of said challenge,” argued respected Coordinator.
Listening to the healthy remedies for the encounter of cheating, I looked into lecturer Munir Khattak, and prepared myself to ask him, “a penny for your thoughts, Sir!” At the drop of a hat, Sir says, “Government should entertain a bill against cheating with harsh penalties for both students and facilitators so before even cheating they must think thousand times.”
To sum up, cheating has never been beneficial for any student. It always had, and has, impacts on their lives. Personal consequences to academic dents in educational journey is what a student is subject to. Course failures and lack of confidence ruined academic integrity which are some other outcomes of cheating. Inability to get jobs followed by disrespect in the society walks into cheaters’ lives.
Students should think of their future because it is only to them whether they want to cut the mustard or either fail in their awaited futures. Shall there prevail a cheating-free education system uplifting merit.