INVIGILATION AND ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
By: Mohmod Irfan Shah
An exam invigilator is a person employed by the board of examinations to ensure effective conduct of an examination following proper rules and regulations. The exam invigilator is responsible for monitoring the applicants or students to prevent fraudulent activities during the examination. They must ensure that all examinations follow the rules established by the examination board, allowing each applicant to sit for the test under the same conditions as other candidates across the country.
INVIGILATORS WAY OF CONDUCT
How an invigilator behaves and supervises examination hall significantly impacts how students sit for the next 3 hours of the examination. It is not that an invigilator should laugh and start cracking jokes, but they also cannot stress students before the test with their behavior. If he starts discussing his success stories and warning students about the next 3 hours, it will worry students more, leading to poor performance. The priority should always be something motivational that can help students build their positive mindset for the next three hours; checking the palm and arms of students, pouch, cardboard, pockets, and wallets should always be the second priority for an invigilator.
If an invigilator cannot motivate their students in the examination hall, they have no right to demotivate them. Shouting at a student trying to copy-paste from the successive student has the worst impact on other students who try to focus on their Paper. Examination halls are more like the day of judgment as if we are sitting in front of God, and if we lie, we will be pushed into the hellfire; hardly a few invigilators try to maintain a stress-free environment in the examination hall. Most of us have witnessed the examination hall’s atmosphere and invigilators’ different mindsets. I have experienced that some of the invigilators are there to give students free stress out of nowhere.
MY EXPERIENCE AS AN APPLICANT SITTING IN THE EXAMINATION HALL
Since Day 1 of my school, I was taught exam is what you know. Your result will show where you are, so in simple language, my exams are going to decide my intelligence, my hard work, my capabilities, my dedication, my potential, my ability, and my results are going to determine my future. But sorry, I disagree, I am a writer, and I do not need integration in my write-ups.
I have failed to write in some of my papers; even though I had prepared what I was supposed to, I still couldn’t write up to my expectations. So, whenever I sat in the examination hall, I was stressed more because of the invigilator than my question paper. Being a student, I would like to share some suggestions for invigilators to support stressed applicants:
Examiners must be aware that where a student sits can significantly impact how they feel in the examination room and that applicants can be moved if necessary.
Examiners should try to listen to applicants calmly if they have any issues; shouting at them without knowing adds to a stressed applicant.
REASONS BEHIND ACADEMIC DISHONESTY
Students’ inability to balance the demands of their academic and social lives is one of the most prevalent reasons for academic dishonesty. Students who struggle to organize their workload and other commitments often fall behind on their deadlines and turn to dishonesty as a quick fix.
Some students accuse their teachers of being too demanding or difficult to comprehend, which they claim is the cause of their dishonesty. Additionally, students may argue that a course was inappropriate for their major or that the exams were unfair. Sometimes students believe that because other students are cheating, they have no choice but to do the same.
Some students may cheat in exams due to anxiety over their academic achievement. Students who want to pass a class or get good grades may engage in academic dishonesty. Some students may use cheating to cope with their subpar test-taking abilities.
Students can compel other students into academic cheating in several ways, including by pressuring them to collaborate during exams or by helping them outside the exam hall, by witnessing other pupils cheat and then joining them, by engaging in academic cheating in groups, and by assisting friends during exams.
“When I was caught BLUE handed”
This incident took place back in 2012 when I was in 7th grade. We all are aware of the uneasy calm that prevails in Kashmir and the most affected sector is the education sector.
In 2012, the situation was very tense in state Jammu and Kashmir. All Educational institutions remained closed for about 6 months. I had just stepped into teenage, the age where enjoying life is the first priority than focusing on the goals of your life. While enjoying my holidays, we all received a shockingnews that the date sheet for our final exams was released. Nobody was mentally prepared for appearing in the exams. Everything was out of my mind; no touch with books for 6 months. I knew nothing, I had even forgotten how to read and write. Everything seemed to be so puzzling. After wasting all days with what to prepare, how to prepare, and where to start from, the day of the final exams arrived. I wasted the whole night praying to God that “Please! Cancel these exams; I will study from the beginning in the next standard.” But finally, I got ready for school and when I boarded the school bus with a sad face and already thinking about the outcome of my paper, I noticed that nobody else was worried about the exam, it was just a normal day for them. I thought to myself, “Am I living in a dream or is the paper cancelled?” I sat on my seat, opened my book to grasp some last-minute knowledge, but all in vain.
Finally, I asked one of my classmates that how he is sitting so comfortably without even opening the book. He and my other classmates who were sitting next to him showed me their hands filled with 50% of the syllabus. I was shocked to see this and at the same time pitying my innocence that how could I not think of such a plan. They insisted me; “If you want to save yourself from the taunt of your parents, fill your hand before we reach the school.” I never thought of the consequences, without wasting any time, I went rushing to the back seat, opened my book, took out my blue gel pen (which was supposed to fill my answer sheet first, but unfortunately was filling my hand). Everyone had written on the inner side of the hand, but I was really inexperienced and in the heat of the moment, I wrote on the upper side of my hand. You might be thinking that how can I be so careless, but no, I was just trying to be 2 steps forward than the others, I thought I will write everything on my hand and for sure the question paper will have these questions.
When we reached school after a long break of 6 months, we rushed in search of our examination rooms and sat on our allotted seats. I was so happy, that I will do great in today’s paper, and I thought now I don’t need to study a word in this class as I have an amazing technique for the rest of the papers too. Just when the question paper and answer sheets were dropped on our table, I had butterflies in my stomach seeing that more than 80% of the question paper was written on my hand.
Everyone started copy pasting, either from their mind or hands, I was taking the help of my hand instead of my mind. I was sitting on the 4th row, and the teacher who was on duty caught me while signing my answer sheet. You can’t say he caught me red-handed because my hands were blue! He caught me blue-handed. I was just shocked that I was caught at the last moment of the first paper. He had turned all red with anger and asked me that what is this? I was quiet for a while, clenching my fists and thinking of any excuse that could come to my mind. After a few seconds, Sir was angrier and asked with a hoarse voice “What is this? Should I take you to the Principal’s office?” I tried to be innocent and possibly gave the lamest excuse that I was just practicing my answers. With a horrifying voice, Sir asked, “Didn’t you have a notebook or a sheet of paper?” and while uttering these words, he snatched my paper. I was trying to be as serious as possible, but while all this was happening, all the other cheaters were spitting on their hands and erasing all the evidence that they are cheating too.
When I left the examination hall, all my classmates came to me and asked, “Why had you written on the upper side of your hand?” I felt the ground slipping under my feet and with a shaky voice, I asked them, “Will sir call my parents?” (As he had taken pictures of my hand)? Obviously, he told my parents about it and although around 7 years have passed since then, I still get teased by my family members and we laugh it off. Guess I didn’t have much akal (brains) then. How true is it, “nakalkarnekayliaybhiakalhonichahiyay” (even for copying, one needs basic sense).
The writer is a student pursuing B.E Civil Engineering from SSM College of Engineering. He is Columnist, poet and co-author of three anthologies. [email protected]