The problem of cheating [Archives:2004/757/Opinion]

July 22 2004

By Shafeek Abdullah Qassem
For the Yemen Times

The education system plays a major role in any society. It aims at bringing up better and smarter generations. It is the back-bone of the development of any community, without which development and advancement become impossible. However, the education system in Yemen seems to be flawed. A few days ago, students were concentrating on exams. Most of them were studying hard to attain good grades. But what happens, when their class fellows, who are educationally very weak, obtain better grades than them by cheating?
It is really discouraging for the hard working students to know that their weak peers have obtained good grades just because of cheating in exams. It is wretched that hundreds of thousands of secondary school students all over the Yemen are sitting their exams amid rampant cheating. Isn't it a disaster, when you realize that the students' main concerns in education are to perform well by cheating?
In fact, cheating has great impacts on the students' personalities. They feel that this is a widespread phenomenon and then have no motivation or aptitude for acquiring knowledge by exerting efforts and hard work. As a result, they depend entirely on cheating. I am really wondering who is responsible for this deteriorating policy, which allows our future generations to decay. Another question that puzzles me is why students are allowed to cheat.
If we seriously want to achieve progress and keep pace with developments like other countries, why then do we damage upcoming generations?
I suggest that there is a real decline in education, which requires honest, responsible scrutiny to diagnose its points of weakness.
Unfortunately, nobody is paying attention to this growing crisis. The Ministry of Education spends hundreds of millions on education, but all are of no avail. We are spending more but gaining less.
We are wasting time and money on failing outputs. This is the top reason for spreading the cheating in exams.
Another factor for poor education and cheating are the teachers. Teachers are deemed to be the core of education, and their role is negative within schools. Some teachers wriggle out of the schools and more often never attend schools for weeks. They help students succeed in exams by cheating, not by helping them acquire knowledge.
Teachers have to point out the shortcomings and limitations of the students' performance. The absence of proper upbringing is considered to be part of the problem. Parents spend a lot of money to provide their children with a good education. At the same time, parents follow their children's progress neither at schools nor at home.
Don't know where their children interests lie?
As a result children start neglecting their studies and finally go to exam halls unprepared. Families should motivate their children to do their best towards gaining knowledge. They should ask their children not to rest on their laurels by cheating but to strive for still greater achievements.
To sum up, every one should take it upon him to do something, to do his part of the bargain. I hope that we will wake up and do something to stop destroying our future. Will we do so? I wonder!