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Academic dishonesty can be defined as a key feature that degrades the full essence of learning. A habit covers the true image of a person in terms of academic achievement. Honesty is one of the aspects that have seriously been neglected in schools, colleges and universities today. The educational sector has ignored the value of honesty as far as student training, education, and learning are concerned. Unfortunately, dishonesty is gradually becoming inevitable, as excellent grades are paramount in learning institutions (Spaulding, 2009). Presently, it is a matter of concern that dishonesty in educational institutions is not reduced, but rather on the increase, since both students and teachers contribute to its development remarkably (Nazir & Aslam, 2010). However, academic integrity is not only an essential part, but also a measure of excellence in education.

Dishonesty plays a key role in breaking the society today. It is common knowledge that ‘a long journey begins with one step’. It can be applied to dishonesty, which may be considered as one of the habits that grow gradually. It only starts with one mischievous thought. However, it is crucial to realize that honesty defines a personality. It reflects on the character that one has in any given gathering or community. For instance, a person, which is known to be dishonest, cannot be appointed or given any key responsibility in a group. In the same way, it applies to an academic surrounding. Thus, academic dishonesty becomes a root of other misgivings that gradually grow and end up changing one into an irresponsible person. Therefore, it is a virtue, which should be instilled in students by every learning institution, as they lay a foundation and plant seeds for the brighter future.

Dishonesty is a habit that can blur someone to attaining his or her set goals in education. When one is learning, it is a key responsibility of this individual to do his or her best in order to

attain the desired goals. Dishonesty and the lack of integrity only paint a fake image of this person’s capability. As a result, dishonest people live their educational lives lying to others. The public image is seen to be perfect and excellent, yet the real self cannot perform to get the expected mark. Such people end up losing their ambitions, as they cannot execute their duties in the corporate world, where there is no room for such vices. In the end, dishonest people crumble down in regrets and failures. In this context, it is fundamental for teachers in learning institutions to give their best training to bring up reliable and honest people in the society.

Stealing has been closely associated with dishonesty in the past. These two vices go hand in hand and contribute remarkably to changing a person’s habit. For instance, plagiarism is one of the most common features of dishonesty. Students often copy each other’s works or assignments. To some extent, students go ahead to have outsiders take exams in absentia (at a certain fee for the one doing an exam). Once a person has cheated in an exam, the seed of dishonesty begins to take root. In the end, such a person loses his or her conscious and may not realize the extent of this misconduct. However, the effect of having such a vice comes up, when one is caught or fails to succeed as expected. It leads to a high sense of guilt. At this point, dishonesty is not a problem, but a resulting condition. Guilt can lead to other self-destructive thoughts that may destroy a student. In this regard, enhancing honesty in schools lays a considerable basis for a fulfilling life.

It is beneficial to realize that the results of having dishonest students can cost the reputation of an institution. Dishonesty contributes significantly to building or spoiling the name of a school. It means that an institution known to encourage dishonesty may have graduates that are disregarded in the society. These trends are observed especially in high school and college examinations. Students are not monitored well to practice integrity. Similarly, those studying at

from such institutions become victims of their own circumstances and lead a failing life before the public. Additionally, it is worthwhile noting that dishonest students portray the same bad habit, even in their homes (Caruana, Ramaseshan, & Ewing, 2000).

The importance and impact of honesty cannot be overlooked among students today. It forms the corner stone of stable and steadfast people that will lead the society tomorrow. Now, it is important for every person in learning institutions to contribute to developing a student community that highly regards honesty. Thus, maintaining academic honesty may call for extra efforts from both senior and junior teachers. However, it is appropriate to realize the contribution of students to building an honest academic environment (McCabe & Trevino, 1993).

In conclusion, dishonesty is a vice that affects student’s education and academic excellence. It also influences a personality, which is fundamental in everyday life. Dishonesty has destroyed many people and has damaged the reputation of many academic institutions. People have lost their integrity due to habits that have begun with dishonesty in schools. Students have also languished, while others remain victims of dishonesty on the part of their friends and peers. Despite its ever-growing level, it can be reduced and at last eliminated from all academic institutions. However, this will call for extra efforts from teachers, non-teaching staff and student bodies at large.

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