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endemic cheating and copying
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desert_traveller



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:23 am    Post subject: endemic cheating and copying Reply with quote

One thing i never fully understood. Saudi male students can spend five times more time and energy finding ways to get the right answers, not only in a test but also in a regular, not assessed lesson activity, by copying and cheating than it would take them to actually learn something and produce a few answers. Many will not even attempt to produce anything before they start copying. Also, their obsession with perfection. Achieving the facade of perfection through cheating, copying or by any other means no matter what it takes, as opposed to actually learning something. This makes the whole idea of education pretty much futile and irrelevant. OK, all right, no problem. But - why? What is the underlying reason?
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jaffa



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 306

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because they are living a lie. The entire nation is based on this pretence.
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abayababy



Joined: 26 Dec 2012
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigh. Sad, but probably true.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15598
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not just Saudi... it is the Gulf. And so many of them seriously don't seem to understand that it is wrong. Presumably it develops from the educational system that they come from... is it because their previous 12 years was based on memorizing some other person's production on any subject? A societal tendency to suppress any questioning of what they are told by those in authority... parent, teacher, religion...

VS
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OzMak



Joined: 14 Dec 2011
Posts: 34
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would it be safe to highlight that it extends well beyond the Gulf? Teaching in Egypt doesn't sound any different than to what you have complained about in your post fellow desert traveller. Mind you I cannot comment on the top tier foreign schools located here, only the private owned schools.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15598
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be generally the same educational system. The Gulf originally brought in Egyptians to set up their schools. If you get to a place like AUC, there are standards and students can and will be failed for cheating or blatant plagiarism, but it is still hard work controlling it.

VS
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teechagimme



Joined: 29 Dec 2010
Posts: 54
Location: S. Korea

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not just the males, the women in the pyp programs here are pr ofessional cheaters. Our admin create different versions of the test but when I walk around the room invigilating, I see that the students have quickly figured out that page 2 of test A is also page 4 of test B and they are all on the same page "sharing" their answers.

I would also say that a good percentage of students should not be allowed to take the exams at the end of a given semester due to attendance issues. This week, students failed to show up for about half of my classes and when they caught a look at my attendance roster today, all hell broke lose because my very accurate record was just so very unfair. A couple of students even went to the dean's office about this. Clearly, they are accustomed to a culture where wheedling, whining, and complaining almost always result in them getting what they want. All of their problems and faults are blamed on the foreign teachers and if they complain enough, they can get another teacher...nevermind that they attend a university that is located in a horrible sandbox...make that a catbox...where no professional in his or her right mind ever wants to go!
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abayababy



Joined: 26 Dec 2012
Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in a PYP program at a women's university, and my experience is not quite like that. My students this semester are respectful and generally attentive (though I admit that arriving in the middle of last semester this was not the case) and the midterms and finals are set up so that cheating is not easy or likely (not saying it doesn't sometimes happen). I guess I must not be in my right mind because I actually want to be here!
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VOM



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Planet Earth

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:59 am    Post subject: It's not Cheating Sir...It's 'Helping!' Reply with quote

I ask students and they divide into two opinions. The tiniest camp agree cheating is wrong and anti Islamic. The majority say cheating is simply 'helping' your friend.

To these boys, not only is it not wrong, it is even wrong NOT to help. 'Helping' is an obligation almost, a noble, manly, expression of loyalty and brotherhood.

Weird logic, right?

It is clear to me that Saudi students gave up (a long time ago) trying to be honest in a system which rewards correctness with less and 'helping' with so much more.

Success in the Kingdom is all about your willingness to put others ahead, nurturing and cementing those relations, about the amount of help 'credit' you invested in others in the past and the ability to turn a blind eye to endemic inequities and corruption.

This, not goodness and virtue, is what advances careers and in the end, pays out big.

Please bear in mind, that the Saudi soccer field is radically different turf, to that which Westerners are used to playing on.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2974
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the blame for this cheating-copying-use of Google translate problem should not be placed on the students---some of who don't even have a desire to learn English. This is a result of an archaic, flawed educational system---one that values high marks from assignments and exams instead of actual learning and thinking for oneself. Moreover, the repetitive drill-memorize-regurgitate method used in their high schools doesn't work in a language learning situation if the objective is to improve fluency. Neither does using Arabic to teach English, which some PYP Arabic-speaking teachers are guilty of. Are these students lazy, unethical cheats or ignorant? No, they're the product of a culture that skirts accountability and a system that doesn't allow them to gain the self confidence needed to acquire and speak a foreign langage. What a way to kill their motivation (and the teacher's as well). And this extends to some PY programs in which 1) the system, curriculum, and test design make it easy for students to cheat or plagiarize, and 2) those administering the program are old-school and have no qualms about 'enhancing' a student's final grade so that he/she can pass.

Fortunately, I don't have a cheating issue with my girls. But they're science track students---all of their subject courses are also taught in English, so they're serious learners. They're very much aware of my challenges speaking Arabic and how I don't always have someone helping me but am still able to communicate with others. As a teacher, it's important that I help boost their confidence---they get a lot of encouragement from me and from each other. Just yesterday, my students applauded after they successfully worked together through a tricky grammar exercise. The other day, a student rewarded a classmate with a loud "Bravo!" after she self-corrected.

Anyway, some Saudis heading to universities in North America, Europe, OZ, etc., for their studies may be in for a rude awakening.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11697
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will not stop it but there are ways of controlling it. The standard technique is to have different "versions" of the same exam, where the numbering and order of the questions is different. Neighbouring students have different versions.

There vare often attempts to use the new technology - mobile phones, iPads etc.

It comes with the territory - you just have to deal with it.
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desert_traveller



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Anyway, some Saudis heading to universities in North America, Europe, OZ, etc., for their studies may be in for a rude awakening.

Unfortunately, this is not true. Those Saudis are milking cows for those Western universities, and they (the universities) will do everything they can to keep them (the Saudis) on the roll. Sad, but true. Money goes a long way everywhere. Half of those returning to Saudi Arabia with a fancy flashy degree from a Western university are just as useless as they were before they left. More than half. Almost all of them! Their petrodollars save them from that rude awakening! They pay, we play. Remember this every moment you are in a classroom in Saudi Arabia!
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12021
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear desert_traveller,

I think your statement - "Unfortunately, this is not true" - need to be modified by the addition of an "always," at least.

Having seen it from both sides - Saudis returning to the Kingdom with their degrees and Saudis attending college here in the States - I know that in both cases there have been exceptions. In fact, in the latter case (Saudis attending college here in the States), I can personally guarantee that they don't get a "free pass," at least here. I've flunked a number of them and there's never been any "blowback."

Regards,
John
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jaffa



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 306

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to know a German engineer out here who told me that he couldn't believe that Saudi universities spew out about 30,000 'qualified' engineering graduates each year.

"Our company has to employ a certain number of them," he told me. "They're not only useless at the job, they are often not even at work. I wouldn't trust them to change the wheel on a car."
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 267
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When people ask me what I do for a living, I say, “I help maintain the illusion”.
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