Scourge of unfair means in exams
AMID campaigns by many students’ organisations to streamline the education system and bring an end to the culture of using unfair means during examinations conducted by state or central boards/councils, reports published in most of the state dailies about an invigilator assisting students appearing in the on-going HSLC examination at a private centre in Wangoi to take recourse to unfair means tantamount to undermining the collective efforts for eradicating the malaise of mass copying. That use of unfair means in examinations has assumed alarming proportions and is posing as a deterrent to overall development of Manipuri society could be judged from declaration by students’ bodies and even armed groups that such unethical practices would not be tolerated. In the latest case of an examination supervisor aiding students resort to unfair means rather than encouraging them to test their cerebral capability and efforts, the armed Alliance for Socialist Unity Kangleipak (ASUK) has minced no words in declaring that the accused teacher would be dealt with seriously. It remains to be seen what sort of punitive action would be initiated against those who defied the genuine cause for a better Manipuri society for there had been incidents in the past about activists of outlawed organisations pumping bullets in the legs of examination invigilators found abetting unfair means as well as students’ associations exposing such unscrupulous elements by publishing their details in the newspapers.
More often than not the education system of Manipur does not reflect the true ability of the abundant human resources. One reason that has contributed most to this sordid state of affair is that the students take recourse to unfair means while taking examinations and thus fail to comprehend the meaning of knowledge as well as of life. Those who take recourse to such ways suffer themselves as well as make others, including the society, suffer ad infinitum, consequently resulting in dilution of the very purpose of universal education. The art of using unfair means during examinations is not a speciality for Manipuri youngsters alone as is evident from write-ups or pictorial presentations of mass copying by the examinees and parents/friends helping the candidates in the form of passing in solved answers in other major states as well. Use of unfair means in examinations is also not confined to the students alone as is evident from frequent reports of selfish officials resorting to various other indecent ploys such as leaking question papers. Though it is obvious that every student wish to get higher grades than their peers do, scoring excellent marks will not reflect their real ability in case the grade was achieved by virtue of unfair means. In practical life people tend to measure one on the basis of his/her abilities and expertise and not only on the basis of the certificates or status. Even though in Manipur’s context, securing a white collar job is decided by thickness of crisp notes a candidate could afford to pay and not necessarily on the basis of merit, the fact that many high-mark scoring candidates are mostly infatuated with securing a government job suggest their lack of competency in terms of knowledge and expertise to apply for employment in reputed private firms outside the state. Thus is it necessary to adopt expedient and rational measures to bring about vital changes to the existing examination system so that Manipuris are audacious enough to explore the ever expanding horizon of job avenues in major companies spread across the country.