It can sometimes happen that an activity becomes so routine that individuals will find themselves simply going through the motions, without really understanding or appreciating the true purpose of that activity. The current state of the public educational systems in America exemplify this point perfectly, with countless schoolchildren entering and leaving learning institutions without being taught some of the most basic and critical skills they will need for their future. Unfortunately, while school is a normal and natural part of everyone’s childhood and adolescence, it has a far higher goal and purpose than to simply be a place for the individual to spend many hours at every day, and it’s a goal and purpose that few individuals honestly consider and perhaps even fewer individuals achieve.
The Goal of School
Many people would readily agree that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, but do they actually take the time to sit down and consider what this means? This means that the grade-school child who is currently learning how to read, how to write and how to interact well with others could someday be the businessman, physician, or even political leader you need to count on in some way. Obviously, this can help one to put things in better perspective, and begin to understand the true goal and value of a good education: to help the leaders of tomorrow learn what they need in order to move forward ably into these positions. But what if the leaders of tomorrow are being permitted to believe that dishonesty is perfectly okay, or are even being driven into dishonest activities?
In July 2011 state investigators in Georgia reported that they had found a pattern of cheating that had been aided and abetted by one hundred seventy-eight schoolteachers and principals in roughly forty-four state schools that dated all the way back over the prior decade. These instances of cheating affected thousands of schoolchildren, and persisted despite many alleged reports of cheating made to school administrators. Between 1999 and 2002, New York officials found twenty-one proven cases of teachers cheating-reading off answers during tests, sending students back to correct their wrong answers, photocopying secure tests for use in class, inflating scores and even peeking at test questions so that the topics could be drilled in class prior to the test.
Not only are students who are being allowed or encouraged to cheat in school missing out on the educational foundation they need for a stable future, they are essentially being taught that dishonest behavior is perfectly acceptable, and a way to live.
Honesty in School-Honesty in Life
In July of 2011, DailyFinance reported that in a survey of more than two hundred retailers who represented roughly one hundred thousand outlets, forty-one percent of these retailers admitted that shoplifting problems had risen. Additionally, stores reporting thefts of pharmaceutical products had reached sixty-four percent. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, retailers lose about thirteen billion dollars each and every year due to theft. These statistics shouldn’t come as a surprise when one considers the condition that educational systems are in today, and these statistics are themselves a good impetus for teaching important principles, like honesty, in schools across the country. Those students who appreciate the value of living an honest life and working hard to achieve their goals despite any and all obstacles they may face will have a strong foundation of ethics, discipline, self-confidence and self-respect that can serve them well in their future. And these are the leaders of tomorrow that we truly desire-honest individuals who can make a positive difference in the world.