On the Pillars of Dishonesty

cheating, classroom cheatingLooking back to my past and installing a roving eye up through the recent years, there was and is hardly ever a single classroom that I can designate as real heaven. Mischiefs, both diminutive and large, mostly furtive, occur in a moment and another. Students unwillingly listen to, or more appropriate to say willfully ignore, the teacher's discussion. Every so often a teacher is backstabbed in ways students most likely have fun doing, criticized when a mistake is noticed and is laughed secretly at it. And these events happen as normal elements in classrooms.

Another normal component of classroom monkey business, though graver than those previously presented, is cheating. Another one is what Filipino's call "kodigo". Observed more thoroughly during quizzes than in exams, cheating transpires almost everyday. It has rather become a fashion in today's schools, more likely in high school and college. Kodigo, although still is a form of cheating, otherwise, slithers more in exams and is noted less likely during quizzes.

By the dictionary, cheating, in classroom setting, is to break rules to gain advantage. Meanwhile, kodigo in English is code, like Kodigo ni Maragtas (Code of Maragtas), yet in Filipino vocabulary, kodigo is a cheating device or paraphernalia, something written on paper, in chairs and sometimes on skin to be reminded of assumed-to-come-out facts. Let us take these two terms separately.

I would like to congratulate you if, all in your life, you have not cheated once. I cheated (let us focus in classroom view) and cheated a little more, and that made me a normal student---or so thought an acquaintance of mine. I am no angel, and what is wrong with that? I had constructed kodigos, nothing to be ashame of.

It has occured to me as to which of the two is more evil. Is cheating, that thing when you ask or clandestinely poke your classmate for the answer or when you sneakily look over your classmate's examination paper, graver than making kodigos? Or otherwise?

As for me, kodigo is more illegal. This dubious activity is solely confined to yourself (that is, selfishness), although sometimes it can proceed to the cheating proper, which makes it worse as committed is another illegal act. It is like taking an exam with open notes, thus erasing the real aim of the exam, that is to evaluate how much one has learned. The very feeling that you do the kodigo for yourself wields more guilt.

Cheating, on the other hand, is subtler than the previous one. It is a collaborative effort and the guilt is lighter, as you share all the blame once you are all caught. Some teachers do even understand why their students cheat, and I am afraid that they did the same matter back in their studentry years. They even go out of the classrooms to let the examinees have the time moment to cheat---I had proven that many times, a cheater I was! One thing more, cheating has become so rampant that it is has rather become so normal. It is everywhere!

For some, cheating is way to survival, especially to those deprived of the relative intelligence. There is even a humorous line that says "better cheat than to repeat". But for the highly cerebrals, who are purely competitive, it is a way of keeping up to the top that cheating is now viewed as more frequently done by the achievers. The truth is that almost everyone does, only these achievers are noticed and accused, and when they get that it is a sad thing because people think he is on top because merely of cheating.

I have always been an achiever as a student and had formally and officially known cheating when I stepped into high school. But it really does not mean that cheating is a sole way to get every subject aced, it is only an amplifier to achieving success. I can rely on my unaided intelligence but I know I can do more if I cheated.

I am not in any way writing this to promote cheating or the making of kodigos but to lay the these pillars of dishonesty that students are careening into in their everyday scholastic lives, and to examine which one is worse.

They say cheating is not bad, until you are caught. Our very own conscience will strive to bear searing thoughts, though, and even if we aren't caught, there is someone who always sees what we do. It is okay to cheat, but do not do it frequently for heaven's sake!

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