Cheating and the Chinese
The Cheating of the Chinese students in Australia, has hit the headlines again. As many of my readers know, I spent nearly two years teaching English in China.
I had no idea of the level of cheating in the country, but soon after arriving in 2008, huge banners went up around the campus of the college. The message was in Mandarin and English. I can’t find the photos now, but it said something like “Cheating is Forbidden”. We Aussies were most surprised by the banners. It was telling students that it was forbidden, but we were to learn it was well accepted.
Cheating of Chinese students has made the headlines (again) in Australia! Despite the messages about it being unacceptable, it continues.
Chairman Mao on Cheating
I have a DVD, that I found in a shop in China, a documentary made by some Americans, and in it, Chairman Mao is quoted as saying that cheating is acceptable. “It is helping each other,” I think were his words.
Despite the mixed messages, one gets about this former leader, it appears that many accept these words as gospel, and Cheating continues in China.
My Issues with Cheating Chinese Students
I had several experiences with cheating. One time in China, a student who never came to class, never did homework, and never turned up for mid and end semester tests. How could I give him any marks? It was zero. 0/100!
A few days after I submitted my end of semester documents, I was called to the Dean’s office. Two very serious staff members sat opposite me and asked for an explanation of my zero marks.
I told how I’d never met him, and he’d done nothing. How could I give him ANY marks? One of the men told me he was a very good student. I replied that I could not know as I had not even seen him. Then the magic words. “His father very generous to the university”!
Happy was not Happy!
The Cheating of Chinese is everywhere. In another class I had 6 male students who should not have been in the class. Their English language skills were zero. At the mid semester exam, Happy, one of the top students finished his exam quickly. I collected his paper, and asked if he would like to leave the room. He didn’t want to. A short time later, I saw him working on another paper. He and the student whose work he was working on got 0/25! At the subsequent (end of semester) exam, I was at the last minute excluded from supervising the exam. The 6 students who had no English, passed with flying colours! One wonders how the Cheating of Chinese will affect their future.
I could relate many more stories of my experiences in China with cheating, but will not go on. One of the senior staff was sacked because of his cheating behaviour with an assignment he was doing for a higher award. I was involved in “helping” him, though not aware I was assisting a cheat at the time.
I don’t know how you stop it!! It seems so ingrained in their culture, and with the latest technology it is hard to police. Shame.
Chinese Cheating in Business
When I was in China in 2008, a great cheating scandal was exposed. How a business manufacturing baby formula added melamine to the mixture to increase profits. It caused the deaths of babies and was a great scandal. There are many stories of Chinese cheating in business e.g. using inferior quality ingredients or similar.
(p.s. I read now that cheating is a criminal offence. The article is here.)
What do you think about cheating?