Exams and cheating

June 19(The News): The continued widespread practice of cheating in local HSC examinations is extremely unfortunate and the introduction of new modes of cheating is an alarming indication that this practice, far from being curtailed, is actually growing. Aside from the immediate moral and ethical connotations of cheating, which are unmistakably plenty and profound, the long-term repercussions are even more disturbing. If the nation's children are allowed to cheat their way through school, this practice and mindset carries over into their adult and professional lives. Moreover, students cheating their way through their studies is also extremely unfair to those who work hard all year long to succeed in their examinations. Not only are they 'outshined,' but, later on, the placing of deserving students in institutions of higher education or in employment posts is jeopardised by 'competition' from obviously less-educated and unscrupulous students.

Even more disturbing than all of this is the fact that authorities, if not in connivance, are at least turning a blind eye to all of this. How else can one explain the presence of 'agents' around examination centres, the 'exchanging' of papers, the presence of 'special' rooms, et all? Such obvious factors cannot possibly escape the attention of the authorities concerned. The police around the exam centres obviously take some sort of cut from the agents' 'fees' to allow them to prowl the area. Lastly it is obvious that there is some sort of financial support from parents. How else can a student afford to pay over Rs100,000 for a 'special' room? If this is indeed the case, then there is little hope for us as a country and a society. Needless to say, immediate attention and action is needed by the highest authorities in this regard.

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