In recent times, there have been a lot of hues and cry on the alarming phenomenon of examination malpractices by candidates. Whilst some people look at some of these issues from the point of causes and solutions, others rightly point to factors such as poor or inadequate student preparation and the proliferation of technological gadgets like the cell phone and the internet. I will look at some of the many reasons that make cheating a menace.
The Oxford Student’s Dictionary defines cheating as the act of doing things in a dishonest way to gain an advantage. This way of doing things stands against our moral and ethical principles as Ghanaians or adults who want to be counted among the beloved of God, should shun away from cheating to avoid disobeying the commandments.
Additionally, candidates should avoid cheating because of the many disastrous impacts it leaves on them. When a candidate is caught cheating in exams, the laws of the land spell out a variety of sanctions to be meted out to the person. For instance, one could be dragged to the law court and charged with fraud. Whilst in some cases, an entire school could have its examination result canceled, a clear case of one bad nut spoils the soup.
Another equally important reason why candidates need to avoid cheating is the fact that it defeats and makes nonsense of the idea that an examination is a sure way of evaluating a student’s performance. Cheating makes it difficult for teachers and examiners to know the actual performance of students and can sometimes result in the selection of bad students in place of good ones and thereby reducing the quality of human resources in our country.
Whilst lowering the level of competition in the area of learning, cheating also gives an undue advantage to a few privileged students over the many disadvantaged students who may not have the opportunity to cheat.
Cheating increases the stress level of students. An examination is stressful as one has to learn within a short time. When a student tries to cheat, apart from making mistakes in the examination, they have to focus on not getting caught. This is a complete waste of energy. The time one has to use to cheat in an examination could be used to study the topics they are supposed to learn. Cheating increases stress levels without leaving any positive impact on the student’s performance.
Penultimate, cheating in the examination can lead the student to lose respect and dignity from students and teachers. Normally in most schools, if one is seen to be very intelligent and smart, he or she would be given the maximum respect and dignity and even be respected to teach his colleagues who find difficulty in some subjects. When one becomes a cheat, however, the person loses respect and dignity.
Ultimately, cheating leads to addiction. Some students developed the habit of cheating at a very tender age and have learned a lot of techniques in mastering the practice. This makes them think that they cannot achieve anything without cheating and this has led to low self-esteem among students. This is the reason why cheating in the examination must be avoided at all costs.
The fact that cheating in an examination violates moral and religious principles has very miserable effects on its perpetrators, has the power to reduce the quality of human resources in a country, increases the stress levels of students, leads to loss of respect and dignity, leading to addiction and level of competition in schools, makes some of us believe that the time has come for a serious war to be waged against cheating, and it is now.
TETTEH HUNO VERA NHYIRA
3 GENERAL ARTS 2
MAMPONG PRESBYTERIAN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
(HEAD GIRLS DINNING HALL PREFECT)