Parents would always want their children to get the best of everything, including entry to prestigious institutions of higher learning, to boost their chances of success in life.
But the news that has surfaced in the United States, that some parents paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their children admitted to top schools, is enough to cause many to reconsider the virtue of parental support.
Dozens of arrests have been made in connection with parents who flew their children across the country so they could take tests with proctors who fed them correct answers to entrance examinations. Other parents staged photographs of their kids doing sports so that they could get bogus athletic scholarships.
Sometimes they lied to guidance counsellors and psychologists, or paid someone to take classes for their children to improve grades, CNN reported.
The schools include, so far, Yale, Wake Forest, UCLA, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas and Georgetown
The investigation has now come to be known as “Operation Varsity Blues.” The mastermind of the plot is said to have boasted that he has created a “side door” to guarantee entry to top schools.
The scheme involved a foundation that accepts donations from wealthy parents, and which exaggerated the learning disabilities of the children.
In some instances, the children knew nothing about the scheme; in others, they were actively involved.
The scheme highlights the gross inequality in the US that practically guarantees wealthy families that they would get to keep their privileged status. It brings to fore the criminal complicity of institutions and professionals who are supposed to set good examples for the young.
It makes us question the lengths to which a right-thinking individual would take “the good of the children” to heart.
Certainly an education founded on dishonesty is poisoned from the beginning. Those who engineered it, and those who knowingly benefitted from the lies, will never be truly successful—indeed can only be a failure—in the grander scheme, even though they might believe they have outsmarted the system.
What kind of professionals and adults will those children turn out to be, if they relied more on the opportunities opened up for them by their parents’ connections rather than their own merits?
We understand that society imposes certain requirements that would spell success: A degree from a good school is certainly one of them. Scheming, however, to meet this so-called requirement for appearances’ sake erodes all of the prestige and value. In the end, one will always be just as good as one’s truthfulness—and there are no side doors or shortcuts to it.