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The problem of copying

Liffy Thomas

CHENNAI: It is one unwritten rule that any student must religiously follow whichever examination he or she is appearing for. But somehow sometimes it is hard to resist from peeping into the neighbour’s answer sheet or sneaking into the roll of paper secretly tucked in the trouser pocket.

‘Do not copy’ is the emphasis once again, especially with Board examinations round the corner and students being reminded about the stringent punishments if caught. The Directorate of Government examination, once again, brought to the notice of schools that students appearing for the Board examinations will not be permitted with shoes, socks, belts inside the examination hall.

The Directorate has also sent posters to schools explaining the implications if caught copying. Other Boards such as CBSE and ICSE have not gone to such extent though they are equally vigilant to ensure the number of students caught in malpractices is minimal. Examination centre at a different school is one surefire way to ensure no unprofessional conduct happens.

Blame it on the examination system, pressure to secure good marks or to make up for not having prepared well, the modus operandi devised by students only seems to be getting smarter with rules getting stringent.

Teachers say copying does happen in school. Some do it for fun, others when they are unsure about their strength and majority when they haven’t studied well.

“More than the failure from their end, it is the pressure from parents or teachers that forces some to copy. Besides good teaching, students need to be given enough strength to face examinations as every student’s learning curve is not the same,” says Sudha Mahesh, principal, Headstart Learning Centre.

Academics feel it is the system of evaluation which partially needs to be blamed. According to M.P. Vijaya Kumar, honorary advisor, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, a child with a good recall value would not copy.

“Making subjects more application-oriented is the long-term solution, where we have friendlier question paper, evaluation pattern and other nitty-gritty to check the student’s aptitude,” he says.

Schools and parents must do their bit by inculcating values of honesty and sincerity. “Copying does happen in school examination but it can be corrected with a good teacher and invigilator. We give the student a fresh answer sheet to write them all again and make them realise what they have done is wrong.

The child is counselled too, and we have seen that the rate of students copying goes down,” says Malathy Sreenivasan, Principal, Devi Academy Senior Secondary School.

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