THE advice of the chief invigilator to all candidates when I was sitting for my Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exam a long time ago is still fresh in my mind.
He said: “You may be happy now for cheating without being caught but, is it going to be worth making a lot of money from the tainted results you achieved in the past?”
Among the 455,839 candidates sitting for SPM this year, some may fail to maintain their integrity in producing results with high validity.
Cheating in public examinations can be as serious as smuggling notes into the exam hall or as common as glancing at another candidates’ question papers to copy answers.
Those displaying suspicious or eccentric behaviour will be identified as potential cheaters, who may be charged for violating examination rules.
Students cheat for various reasons.
Some want to impress their parents, teachers and friends with their outstanding results. Others are desperate for a maximum number of As to qualify for a place in university. Yet others study at the 11th hour and experience mental block when reading the questions.
Regardless of their reasons, there is no excuse for cheating.
Invigilators need to keep an eye on candidates for any attempt to break exam rules. A zero-tolerance policy must be applied on cheaters who are caught red-handed during the examinations.
The action against the culprits should serve as a warning and a lesson to others. It is also to remind everyone that cheating is not a trivial matter.
This moral principle should be instilled in students early. When they start college or pursue a career, some unethical friends may offer them shortcuts to score an easy A or make easy money, and it will cost their integrity to achieve their goals. When they get used to the habit, they will start enjoying their “fast-track” life without considering the negative implications of their actions.
Corruption, which is the result of low integrity, is a heinous crime that has been in the limelight for too long. This fraudulent conduct invites chaos into society and affects a country’s economic growth.
Individuals involved in this conspiracy enjoy their ill-gotten gains while sacrificing business ethics.
Before teenagers leave school, we need to plant integrity in their hearts and minds, for they are the ones who will either make or break our country’s future.
Muhamad Solahudin Ramli, Marang, Terengganu NST Letters 15 NOVEMBER 2014 @ 8:09 AM