By Farman Nawaz
I am teacher by profession and nature. Besides journalism for the last seven years I am teaching social studies and most of my students are teenagers. I am struggling hard to convince them that they are sick, even the whole society is sick. Doctors are lucky that their patients are aware of the severity and reality of their sickness but my sick children are ignorant of their surroundings and even they do not want to understand the gravity of the situation.
Unlike my colleagues who are always busy in completing the syllabus and trying to prepare their students for getting good marks, I always try to prepare my children to face the realities and complexities of modern age. Living within constrains of religion and culture, I always strive to compel them to think about the wrongs of our society, culture and politics and its solution. Unfortunately, they stay with me only for few hours and after dispersal, they again jump into the heap of dirt. For religious questions, their “Molvi Sahab” has more access to their minds while their heroes of politics are extremists. My efforts are ruined when Molvi Sahab declare progressive thoughts as non-Islamic. Similarly, the slogan of Jihad against America is so glamorous and thrilling that its consequences are overlooked.
However, when examinations are started all these champions of religion and Jihad start thinking about using unfair means in exams. Now the guidance of self-righteous ‘Molvi Sahab’ and their sincerity with ‘pious extremism’ do not stop them to avoid cheating in examinations. Religion is sidelined and Jihad is forgotten. I deride them of their so-called sincerity with religion but it is useless. But still I do not lose heart.
Whenever what I have fed to their minds and their own experience will have common overlapping segments, they will save their lives in the lifeboats of science and technology (Modernism). Science does not come to someone for getting ‘No Objection Certificate’ for living in the society. Always people go towards science to take advantage of it. Cheating is unscientific and immoral. Unscientific ways are discarded when it do not give results. For how long unfair means can help my children to be successful in life. Now when quality education is becoming a product of global market so substandard trends in education will die out. Moreover, those still sticking to immoral ways will lose their place in the market of global education and jobs.
Last week I thought that it would be better to know that why these kids try to pass exams by adopting unfair means. I chose students of 10th grade. The facts they revealed were surprising. Most of the students revealed that they are compelled to adopt unfair means because of the pressure of their parents’ expectations. Secondly, teachers also covertly induce them to cheat in exams because in this way the teachers can impress the administration by showing good results of their students. Some students start cheating because others are doing so. The brilliant students say that they do it to get good positions because they fear that if they will not cheat then their due right will be snatched.
I tried to convince them that cheating is not only morally wrong but also against the religion. It will be shocking for the readers that my students tried their best to prove cheating the need of the time. Though they could not prove it from the religious point of view but socially they have proved it the ultimate way to get success in life. They consider cheating necessary to be successful in modern age but at the same time they consider the centuries old customs necessary for the solution of our all current problems.
One of my students sitting quit raised his hand to get permission to speak and made us laugh when he said “Sir cheating is beneficial for all. It is the ultimate solution to our problems”. “We will be successful in exams, teachers and parents are then proud of us, it adds to school’s repute, the invigilators go back happy to their homes having their pockets full of money, it raises the literacy rate of the country, what you need more than this?” he added.
My question is that having all these techniques of achievement why we are not a successful nation. Why we beg every year to fill our budget deficit? Why we have negative balance of payments? Why our reserves are less than the neighboring countries? Why can’t cheating help us to overcome our problems? Why can’t we cheat the terrorists as well as Black Water? Why can’t cheating help us to increase our exports? Why shouldn’t we adopt to cheating to convince the global community to save our sinking boat of economy?” Success in life does not come by deceiving ourselves. Cheating may pave a way for temporary personal success but nations can not succeed by cheating.