Cheating involves taking another person’s work and claiming it to be yours. It can be done in several ways, for example through copying homework, supplying exam copies among others. It is so unfortunate especially to students that study hard because those that cheat always pass in their exams. There is also this mentality that it is normal for students to cheat and therefore there is no big deal. Cheating has been there since exams started but statistics show that it has increased especially in high schools. All this can be attributed to various reasons;
According to Maginnis L.R. as quoted by Wenker, failure by institutions which include media, schools, church, government and family to perform their duty of imparting good values to youth has contributed greatly to increase cheating .It is common that those who cheat get good grades and therefore the message passed is that, it is acceptable to cheat as long as one is not found and is guaranteed of passing. Secondly, increased competition amongst students put them under pressure not to fail. All of them would like to get good grades, go to best schools, get good jobs and earn high salaries. Also punishments given for cheating is mild therefore students do not see the need to read hard yet they can cheat and get away with it or receive a lesser punishment. (Wenker C.1998)
There is a big difference between schools today and schools fifty years ago. In the past, students that cheated were the lazy ones that could not pass or do their work. In addition to that, today we are more concerned with achieving the goal and so students easily compromise their values to achieve their goals of passing in exams. According to Stansbury as quoted by Wenker, students are focused on achieving the goal and the means does not matter. Currently, students are expected to do well in various fields, for example, they are expected to be good in class work, in the extra curriculum activities like sports and even be in a position to have experience through volunteerism.
Cheating in schools is increasing because of the fact that many are joining in. Students that did not cheat before believe that it has come to be the only way to achieve their goals. This is so because, those that cheat pass them in exams and are therefore in a position to succeed in life; get into good colleges, get good jobs and therefore earn higher salary. It is also believed that by cheating a student is able to keep up with the rest of the class or is able to be a part of the game which in this case is cheating.
According to Wenker, we need to look at the broader picture; the fact that, this behavior is likely to have a long term effect on the society. If something is not done to stop cheating in schools then our future is likely to be a bad one. Those that go to the best schools are the ones that end up ruling our country. They are the ones that become presidents of big corporations and heads of businesses. They are taken as being “smart” by the society yet in real sense they are not, and they become our role models. Being at the top, they are not likely to stop cheating because in a way they do approve of it having been successful after practicing it. To stop cheating schools should emphasize learning and not achievement of grades. When this idea is passed to students, cheating is likely to reduce.