Case Study 5

Mass cheating in examinations is not a recent phenomenon in India. In fact, in recent times it has become organized. Recently Indian and foreign media featured prominently parents and relatives scaling school walls and buildings, to pass answer chits to students taking secondary school examinations in Bihar. The recent topper’s scam of Bihar is another blot on the Indian education system. It has dented India’s Image at the global forum. With the advent of technology, it has become more sophisticated. These rackets are run by doctors, teachers, engineers and exam invigilators. Still, a stringent law to tackle the menace is a distant dream.

What are the ethical issues involved in the case? Write your stand on the same and also suggest measures to tackle the menace.

Cheating in an exam is an act of deceiving the self and the system.

Ethical issues involved are:

  • It gives an unfair advantage to the one who cheats, thus leading to injustice.
  • Others are put to unfair competition. This will tempt them to indulge in cheating behaviour, especially when more value is given to marks today.
  • Cheating kills the motivation to work hard. Quality of dedication, perseverance etc. are diluted.
  • Dignity and self-respect are lost.
  • The habit to cheat continues later in life and results in corruption and administrative inefficiency. 
  • This will be detrimental to the economy and professionalism as inefficient people will join the workforce.
  • People will lose trust in the education system and certification (the common good will be destroyed)

The following steps can be taken to control this menace:

  • Values like dignity, truthfulness, self-respect, honour, and honesty, which are violated by cheating, must be inculcated in students from the very beginning.
  • Strict action must be taken against regular offenders and even against those who assist students to cheat.
  • Students must be encouraged to acquire knowledge, innovate and not just run before marks.
  • Parents should not put pressure on students to race for better marks.
  • The exam pattern should be changed to inculcate innovation and creativity among students rather than cramming bookish information. Open-book exams can be held at different levels.
  • Students must be given the freedom to choose the subjects they like, and they must not be forced to study subjects in which they have no aptitude so that they are not forced to cheat.
  • Technological gradation, strengthening school management, accountability of school authority etc. will also help.
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