I don’t understand why people get so vexed by the high rate of cheating in exams or the increased illegal buying of certificates and diplomas in institutions of higher learning. When we take a keen look at the way we are brought up, the manner in which we are programmed to think, you automatically realize that cheating is the fruit of a rotten seed planted in our mentality from the time we are born.
Our society worships grades and idolizes certificates. We are brought up in an archaic system that measures your worth on how well you can cram information for exams and how many A’s can grace your diplomas. Consequently, students regrettably go to school to pass tests rather than learn since schools value high grades more than enriched minds. Those few who are lucky enough to enter the cut-throat competitive job market are necessitated to return to class to get more papers once they grasp the fact that professional institutions value your papers more than your performance.
For a long time, since we entered pre-school, a certain idea has been constantly hammered into our minds; the idea that if you fail in your exams, you will fail in life. The idea is the rotten seed that society, through people and institutions, constantly plants in our psyche and continually waters it as we grow up. By the time you get to university, the seed is a gigantic tree with roots extremely deep that you will do just about anything to pass those exams and accumulate those diplomas because of your internalized fear of failure.
If by chance you are not the kind of person who is gifted with a mind that can memorize and regurgitate dozens of pages of information, then you automatically result to the typical examination cheats and tricks; you artistically create those microscopic mwakenyas, which you then hide in undetectable and ungodly places, or hire those academic ‘research experts’ to design and write up your final projects, or better yet, you purchase those nicely branded glossy certificates from a briefcase office somewhere along River Road. If the desperation runs too deep in your spirit, you find yourself among those who result to more extreme endeavors like ‘bedding’ their professors and ‘sleeping’ their way to success once they penetrate the high-paying job market.
We live in a psychotic society that measures the credibility of a person by how well that person can memorize formulas and how fast he or she can accrue diplomas and certificates from institutions of higher education. It is a system so draconic that promotions are based on papers rather than performance and recognition centered on grades rather than understanding. Such an extreme atmosphere induces those involved to employ rough techniques just to beat they system. Cheating, stealing, buying and all kinds of monkey business become the order of the day. Truth be told, people will do just about anything to acquire that ‘A’ and that diploma from that recognized university.
I am in no way justifying the diabolical means that individuals result to so as to advance academically and professionally, rather merely trying to explain their actions. As some like to say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” The ideals of a society are sometimes oppressive in nature; hence the society is in constant war with itself. Those who know a little about war or conflict will tell you that the modes of oppression used by the oppressor primarily determine the means of resistance utilized by the oppressed; that is, the more intense the oppression, the more extreme the means used to overcome that oppression. That is the nature of the game and you can be rest assured that this game of grades and papers is exceptionally extreme.
Until we refrain from the obsession with high grades and paper portfolios, and shun from the ridiculous habit of placing value on an individual based on his exam score or diploma level, then we will continue to raise kids and adults who will result to any means necessary to get those pleasant papers and genius grades.