By: Saad Anwar Chaudhry
It was the time when I was residing in the hostel of my university in Islamabad. It was winter, the days were cold and short and nights were long and icy. Our exams were going on. One day, early in the cold morning when it was raining heavily, my cell phone began ringing. I glanced at the blinking screen and saw the name of one of my classmates. At the very same moment someone started knocking at the door of my room. Upon asking I came to know that the guy who was calling me on my cell was actually standing at the door. I opened the door. He was in a very disturbed condition. “Saad, please help me pass in the exams,” he said. He had a book in his hand. I let him step inside and then went to make two cups of hot tea. I turned on the switch of the electric room-heater and the room was soon warm and cozy.
Then we both started studying and discussing the important topics because the very next day we had exams of that subject. We were focusing on the important contents of the syllabus. After discussion of about one hour he took out his android phone from his pocket and started taking photos and making pdf files of the important pages of the book. On inquiry he told me, “I will take this android to the examination hall and get help from it.”
“Then why are you studying?”
“So that during the final exam I may be able to understand which answer and topic I have to write and up to which extent. Otherwise I may get confused about the limit of required answer moreover I have to choose the right topic too.”
Next day during the exams I saw him. He was taking ‘help’ from the pdf study material and jotting it down swiftly. The invigilator didn’t see him. When the exam was over he came out. He was walking as if he had conquered the world.
This is not a single case. You will find many students of the same mentality who use such ‘techniques’ to pass the exams with flying colours.
I don’t want to lambaste anybody. I’m just deploring that our educational system even at the varsity level is not free of such methods. The situation gets worse when the toppers of the class indulge in android cheating too. They study hard and prepare well for the papers but they also get ready to cheat in case of any difficulty in the exams.
Where have our values gone? Moral and ethical principles have left us. Cheating is not going on in nearly every institution. It is the bitter reality and severe drawback of all the educational institutions. Whether you are a school or a college student or doing BS/M. Sc/ even M. Phil from the university, cheating is rampant.
Who can play a role to stop this cell phone cheating? Usually invigilators and staff on duty during exams take cells from the students but even then some of the brave and confident ones hide their android phones in their pockets. And get ‘benefit’ from them.
We must discourage such practices. I wish we can remember this marvelous line which Abraham Lincoln wrote a in a letter to his son’s School Headmaster. “In school teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.”