“Kids today live in a brave new world. With so many burdens on their shoulders, they have to fulfill so many expectations; parents’, teachers’ and societies’. To make it worse, kids today have to master too many things. With so many burdens on their shoulders, it’s unfair for them to be blamed when they do “illegal cooperation during exams” which people used to call cheating. Like any of you, I once was a student, specifically, a student of this brave new world’s generation. Based on my personal experience, I would say that I have no problem with “the practice of illegal cooperation during exams.” Because if we look at the case deeper, we will be able to see that the temptation comes from external forces, not from the students themselves.
Now, first of all, let’s just be realistic, or at least be humane. We’re just humans, NOT GOOGLE. We can’t know everything. We were born with so many limitations, even after our hard hard hard work, we still might not be able to achieve the score as good as our friends’ who are gifted in that particular field. Of course everybody is gifted, but God doesn’t give all of His presents to one man, right? He gives different gift to each person. Just like me, I am good at learning languages and memorizing things, but when it comes to number… I will dig my own grave! Math’s never been my cup of tea, it’s my Achilles’ heel.
In addition, students are pressed under the cruel system of today’s education. There are just too many subjects in the curriculum that they have to master, meanwhile, there’s only one teacher mastering one subject. I bet my French teacher can’t stand a simple algebra question, and vice versa for my Math teacher. See, that’s the bad role-modeling way that our education provides the students. And then, the society is even crueler by giving a bad name to something they don’t understand, they just demand, and demand and demand, without giving any solution. That’s why, I prefer to call it “a mutual cooperation” rather than “cheating”. As I quote a song from Moldy Peaches, “just because we used to cheat does not mean we’re not smart.”
Honestly, my so-called philosophy comes from my own experiences as student. I had tried to be all types of students; honest student, tricky student, lazy student and you name it. My experience as an honest student just gave me the academic catastrophe and misery. And I REALLY thanked God that I got an early wake-up call, otherwise my ‘career’ as student would have been finished by elementary school. Now look at me, I did make it to college, huh?
Then, my experience as student also gives me two facts; 1. Students will not cheat during the subject that they love, 2. Students will not cheat if the teachers can give them a logic and inspiration. One day at school, one of my teachers, my MATH teacher, gave the most precious lesson that I’ll never forget. Instead of embarrassing me with bad mark, he came to me and told me, “Citra, I know that you are very terrible when dealing with numbers. But I also know that most teachers know that you do much better than most students in other subjects. It would be unfair for you to fail because of something you don’t like. Now, I can promise you, I won’t burden you with grades but I just want you to do one thing; I want you to do the exam HONESTLY. Just it. And my advice for you, when you go to college, don’t choose any major dealing with numbers.” Then, I kept my promise to do the test honestly, I could only answer 4 out of 12 questions, and you know what, he gave me 6,5—the standard to pass the exam. Later when I entered college, I chose English as my major because I like it and it’s far far far away from numbers. And now I am an English graduate with a satisfactory GPA and I never—I mean “very very rarely”—“cooperated illegally” during my bachelor study.
All the points I have explained above finally bring us to my conclusion that we are responsible for giving our students understanding, support and a logic explanation on why it’s better not to ‘cheat’ instead of just burdening them with the countless pressure and expectations.”