It is a natural tendency of human beings to run after happiness. There are several ways to get happiness and money is the chief way. The way to money is through academic qualifications and achievements. These are not everybody’s cup of tea for numerous reasons. Some are not interested in academic subjects, some do not have the ability to cope with them, some are not willing to toil and there are some who would just like to do without degrees of any kind. Whatever the reason, the obsession with happiness is so intense that people get lost in the labyrinth of paths to happiness. They become the end rather than the means; then begins the struggle to get through at any cost. The active human brain comes up with strategies that make the paths easier. These are the springs of cheating.
To cheat means to get something by using dishonest means. It includes the use of illegal and unacceptable or easy ways to achieve something. Regular study and hard work throughout the year will definitely lead to success in the examination. A student who neglects his studies is prompted to cheat in the examination when he wants to get through at any cost. Getting through the examination is the short term goal, which becomes most important at that stage. The budding youth forgets his higher aim, that he is preparing himself for a profession which will enable him to earn money, which in turn will make him happy. For children and adolescents, the line between right and wrong is hazy. Success in the examination appears to be the right thing; the dishonest way to achieve it becomes misty and unclear. A pinch of guilt may stick in the throat but it easily gets swallowed with the success. If this continues, the youths learn to digest the sense of guilt and the tendency to cheat is nurtured and developed.
Educational institutions give marks and grades and undue importance is attached to grades. Children often cheat in examinations to keep their parents and teachers happy. It is important to make students aware that grades are meant to assess their performance so that they can be trained accordingly. Hence, cheating in examinations is cheating themselves. Sometimes, students cheat due to peer pressure. At middle school or high school, peer pressure plays an important role. A student who refuses to help a friend in the examination may be rejected by his peers. According to McCabe D., cheating is more common in higher education and professional colleges.
Teachers have to be alert. There is a need to change their ways of vigilance. Students nowadays resort to technology for cheating. Kevin Curran has pointed out that the traditional methods of detection cannot be successful in preventing cheating in this age of technology. In a survey it was found that 85% of college students said cheating was necessary to get ahead.
It is all a matter of values. Children must be guided all along the way so that they have clear ideas about ambitions, achievements and happiness. Of course, sometimes children have genuine problems which may urge them to cheat. Yet, parents and teachers must shape their minds appropriately so that they avoid cheating. A practice of cheating in examinations will urge people to cheat in all walks of life. Cheating is undesirable and unacceptable because it always usurps the rights of others and inflicts injustice upon others. Happiness should be self- earned, through fair and honest means.