Cheating is our right!
Cheating culture in Pakistan, specifically in Sindh, has been prevailing for a long time. Numerous efforts have been made to counter the issue, and to an extent, change has occurred in almost all of the provinces of Pakistan except interior Sindh. The day-by-day rising cheating culture in interior Sindh is having unrepairable damage to students in numerous ways.
Firstly, to explain the context of the issue, the cheating culture started with Sindhi / Mujahid (migrated residents from India) conflict. Sindhis were accused of occupying a more significant proportion of resources and employment, whereas mujahids were captivated by equal employment opportunities. In an educational context, Sindhi students were given priority in admissions and granted favors during exams. This discrimination led to conflict among both groups, so the political party MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) was formed to support the Mujahid group in Sindh. As a reaction to discrimination, MQM planted its officials in government jobs and asked them to give favors to mujahid students for further promotions. As a result, mujahid teachers helped students by allowing them to cheat during exams and to compete, and Sindhi teachers did the same. Over time, the conflict faded; however, the aftereffects remained on the educational system.
Now, students see cheating as their right and do not confront it. The existing culture has caused several negative impacts on student studies, such as a lack of critical thinking, learning, and competence within studies.
What is the reason that even after ending the conflict, the cheating culture is still prevailing?
*Picture from Dawn Article.
As the research details, government officials (teachers, police, and boarding committee) promote cheating culture due to their gains. As mentioned in the dawn article, a policeman said that exam season is one of the best times of the year as they get a lot of "Bhatta" to facilitate students with leaking exams and provide them with cheating material. Moreover, the plethora also counts teachers and parents who have considered cheating culture a societal norm and do not raise their voices against it.
The only possible solution is strict law regulation during the examination and the right way to terminate police officials and teachers who are found guilty. Awareness campaigns among students and parents are deemed necessary and strict actions must be followed in case of confrontation. Moreover, the government should update the old curriculum to develop students' interest and provide incentives like the Punjab laptop scheme for high achievers. By following the suggestion, there is a ray of possibility that this cheating culture could end.
It is not one person's job; it takes a village to raise a child. We need all key players to play their part in delivering fundamental education rights to our children.