The Integrity And Honesty Of The Bagrut Exams In Israel

3318 words - 13 pages

Integrity can be defined as "an uncompromising adherence to a code of moral, artistic or other values, utter sincerity, honesty and candor, avoidance of deception, expediency, artificiality or shallowness of any kind" (The Penguin Concise English Dictionary). In simpler words this means to maintain high standards and follow the rules, even when no one is watching. Integrity is very important in our everyday life if we wish to be good people. Certain people feel that in order to advance themselves in life they need to break certain rules, such as rules that are decreed on examination booklets.

Academic honesty and integrity is a necessary ingredient for school systems to evaluate their curriculum. There are students who place a lot of effort and work arduously to earn their grades where as there are other types of students who believe they will prosper academically only through the means of cheating. There are probably a number of students who cheated their entire way through high school and college classes, ignoring and disrespecting the integrity of the exams, thus coming out with a degree in a dishonest manner and never having had learned a thing. These people graduate from college thinking that they are prepared to embark on their journey into the "real" working world and start their career with a diploma that they did not earn based on their own merits. It is possible for a student to cheat their way through high school but its unlikely that they will be able to cheat their way through life.

Educational systems differ world wide. The Israeli educational system uses the bagrut exam as the main tool to review a students knowledge and capabilities. A student is awarded the bagrut certificate upon meeting and fulfilling the requirements established by the board of education. The board of education creates a curriculum which encompass a number of mandatory subjects and a number of electives for the student to choose - which are pre-approved. The bagrut exam serves as a prerequisite and condition for acceptance into institutions of higher education. In addition, the bagrut exams may serve as a form of selection in the future for individuals who seek work; an individual applying for a job may be turned away due to not having sufficiently completed high school with a certificate of bagrut. This paper intends to examine the bagrut examination and the un-integrity which seems to arise through the process of students evaluation. Our three main areas of concern include: the rules of the bagrut exam and the sharing of responsibilities in order to preserve the integrity of the exam; the efficiency of the system and what precautions are taken to preserve the rules; and finally what sanctions are available to an individuals and institutions whom are caught cheating.

Keeping the integrity of the exams is an extremely difficult process. The first step in preserving the integrity of the exam is to create a system of fairness and equality...

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