Copying in examinations has been there since long though not as prevalent as it is today. We learnt that when Gandhi was a small boy he was prompted by his teacher to copy spelling of a word from his neighbour in a test and that he did not do it as he believed that having good character is more important than getting more marks. In good old days copying was beneficial to a student as his future depended on his marks. His getting a seat in a higher class, even in a professional course like Medicine or even getting a job depended on the marks only. But later the practice was discontinued as there was wide difference in the standards of students from different areas. Then started the system of ‘entrance examination.’ As many long and short answer questions were giving scope for copying, another question paper with ‘objective type’ of questions was also introduced. Well, soon students invented signalling, a novel method of copying. Now modern gadgets are used to copy. Copying has been a thief and police game between students and invigilators.
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Marks have no value today
Today copying is a foolish activity as academic marks do not have any value. Seats in higher courses are given on the basis of marks in entrance examinations where copying is not possible. Similarly no employer gives jobs based on academic marks. He has his own ways of evaluating to recruit a person. In spite of this scenario, still copying is going on because education has become a profitable business today. Earlier government and private schools were funded by government. Later private schools were permitted without government aid. They were allowed to collect higher fee. They advertise to offer better education and facilities. Parents who can afford to pay more sent their children to these elite schools and thus a class distinction is created among students. Introduction of English Medium and preference for it in private schools made them popular as our people wrongly believe that speaking English is a great thing.
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Rat race among private institutions
Though academic marks are of no practical use, copying is encouraged by private educational institutions to show that their students are better than students of other institutions. It became a rat race among the private institutions and in order to attract more students additional amenities like Roller-skating and specialist courses like ‘IIT Batch’ were introduced in schools. This raised the cost of education and added unnecessary extra course material. Nobody seems to think why a school boy should learn what is to be learnt in IIT. Added to this unnecessary load, parents and teachers pressurise students to get more and more marks which creates tension and sometimes even leads to suicides. Government and aided schools could not fall behind the private ones and they too joined the rat race in course of time.
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No games, no playgrounds
Education is to make one a better human being by developing good character, sharpen his ability to think and distinguish good from bad and practically do everything better. Physical, general and moral education is necessary for the all-round development of a personality. But today schools are giving only science education. A student is kept busy with memorising without giving any time to think. Homework done by parents or tuition teacher is of no use to him. There is no scope for any general reading and thereby develop independent thinking. Earlier schools had drill teachers and play grounds to play and moral classes in which character building stories were told. They used to read about great people who served public in various ways or sacrificed themselves for great causes. All such lessons are avoided today in the name of secularism. So a student’s awareness to morality is nipped at the bud.
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Now as parents and teachers encourage copying, a student develops a mindset that does not hesitate to do a bad thing. That means his moral sense is being killed even before it is developed. That is why today we find some highly educated people behaving as greater villains. A student who sees copying as normal today, will tomorrow think that taking bribe is also normal. We all know that corruption is the root of every problem in our country. That is to say copying creates moral bankruptcy and leads to corruption that destroys everyone in the society. Only when we avoid copying and develop the moral character of a student, we can really have Swatch Bharat, a pure, corruption free India. That is the right path to progress and prosperity.