While most of the colleges, parents and students, who are a part of Indian education system are much focused on scoring higher grades, ranks in the schools and Universities, we forget one key aspect in education, which is ‘plagiarism’.
I guess most of people who is reading this blog, knows what plagiarism is. I just wanted to focus on how its happening in educational institutions, and a student perspective of that. Plagiarism, as defined by Oxford dictionary is the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.
Exams are often the only way parents and teachers evaluate a student understanding. Even today majority number of schools and colleges stresses for ranks, marks, percentages, grades etc etc. Coming from such place I was always worried about scoring good marks and the feeling of “have to score better than someone”. Result was not bad, never had arrears in exams. But what I missed out is the knowledge on what I’m studying.
Did I not pass exam? I passed all exams! Did I cheated in exams? No. Then I should know what I wrote right! Here comes the picture of what happened with my education system.
As like students in any other educational institution offering University education, we were also give assignments, project works etc., And, I submitted them like most other students. However, what I missed out that time was, the assignment was not about doing “copy and paste” from wikipedia or few other textbooks, but instead we need to write something creative. We were told to search for information in wikipedia and “something” and submit it.
This is not just about me, you’ll find that today if you go to number of colleges over there.
I did not even know it is called as plagiarism until I started my masters.
Will I do that same internet copy and paste stuff now? I can now prove how much stuff in internet is junk (not saying it is not useful).
What was the shift? ”Awareness”. That resulted in altering the way I look at science giving a whole new perspective. When I write my understanding gets hundred times more clearer and I get more doubts for sure. And that’s where I’m learning. I’m writing same thesis since three months and every time I get feedback, I get even more excited about altering report. Because I know it will make a difference to my writing.
In a way, plagiarism is equal to malpractice in exams. And because no one can see this happening, its considered “okay” in our system. It is not. Its a cancer in education system. No one would like to cheat, unless if cheating is made very easy, during when human brain thinks its survival is important. It is simple, most people would follow rules in traffic (most people do, imagine if most people dont follow, it’ll be even more chaos, observe in road if u want), and some people for some reason, dont want to follow at sometime or always, and if a cop is standing there, he wont do that. (if he does, let him go to hell).
So what is required now, one thing that would really make a huge difference is to 1. create awareness among students that Plagiarism is Cheating. 2.There are huge number of plagiarism checkers available online now, so I guess, it wont charge much for an institution to subscribe and make sure assignments are sent through those software.
My intention is not to criticize any of the colleges or teachers. The increasing number of colleges for Science and technology in India lead to a rapid decline in the quality of education. Find out a student who is completing B.Tech or B.E. and check his/her final year project report for plagiarism. You’ll be surprised to see number of cases plagiarism happens.
The happiness in writing a report by yourself, doing research, getting comments. Its amazing! It takes time, but its amazing.
If anyone student reading this, I’d say, trust yourself, you can be very much better in writing than the report you thought of copying. Unfortunately, by copying you killed that awesome person in you!
That’s what I see for myself! 🙂
P.S. There are many colleges and Universities uses ‘anti plagiarism’ software and create awareness among students. I heard Sastra University does that and some more probably. But if you go to engineering colleges like in A.P. or Telangana or in TamilNadu, You’ll see really lot of engineering colleges, where staff do not know what plagiarism is.
We should start a campaign for Anti plagiarism creating awareness about that.