Death of honour
> When even academics stoop to thievery, respect is lost
God forbid if those graduates end up in critical areas like medicine or engineering!
An exam or test is given to evaluate a candidate and gauge the level of his or her knowledge and skills. However, if cheating is involved, the results of the assessment will not be reflective of the person’s true skills and knowledge.
I would also like to take the liberty to highlight the findings of Latisha Asmaak Shafie and Surina Nayan of the Academy of Language Studies at Universiti Teknologi Mara (Perlis), who conducted extensive research into this serious subject.
In their paper, The Net Generation and Academic Dishonesty in Malaysia, they defined such cheating as “practices in buying assignments, plagiarising other people’s work, asking friends to take the test on their behalf, paying someone else to take the test on their behalf, collaborating with other friends to discuss the tests, and other actions which challenge academic integrity”.
They found that it was common to find instances of cheating among students in higher education, such as students illegally bringing in notes in their jackets while taking their exams.
Some institutions don’t allow students to bring their mobile phones into the exam hall, to discourage cheating.
Latisha and Surina suggest that universities should hold courses to promote academic integrity among students, and to teach them to do proper citations to give credit where credit is due, and to prevent academic cheating and dishonesty.
As I read this, I am shaking my head. Has something gone wrong with our society? Where is that precious thing called honour?
According to the revered Oxford English Dictionary, ‘honour’ means high respect or great esteem.
But if people in exalted positions are alleged to be involved in thievery, then such respect evaporates.
This brings to mind a few brilliant quotes by Sophocles, a Greek philosopher and playwright in 497BC.
An advocate of success which is dependent on effort, he is perhaps best known for this quote: “I would prefer even to fail with honour, than win by cheating.”
I’m also reminded of another quote by him, which states: “All a man’s affairs become diseased, when he wishes to cure evils by evils.” And: “It’s a terrible thing to speak well and be wrong.”
Jeff Yong, after making his mark in the twisty maze of mainstream journalism, has finally decided to enjoy what he does best – observing the unusual and recounting the gleeful. He can be contacted at lifestyle.borak@ gmail.com.