Plagiarism at primary school level
Recently, a book called Many Dreams, One World was distributed to a number of primary schools in the southern part of Singapore. In it were the written work of some students in primary school. One of the essays in the book was by a girl who wrote about spiritual enlightenment and awakening, a subject that is way too serious and heavy for a primary student. This caused a parent and a tutor to suspect that the girl’s work may not be original at all.
True enough, when tutor Anne Tok searched Google with a line from the essay, the work of spiritual healer Nancy Tabah Whynott came out of the search. Tutor Anne expressed that any teacher who has read the essay would surely think that it was written by an adult considering the depth of the subject.
Were the girl’s teachers really convinced that her work was original? Were they just turning a blind eye on the fact that she plagiarised with hopes of gaining prestige for their school? Is this incident proof that our society is raising up kids who are afraid of failure and will do anything, literally anything, just to win?
Here is an excerpt of the girl’s essay courtesy of The Straits Times:
‘There are many paths to enlightenment – their teachings rich and varied, offering wisdom and ‘food for thought’, and everything we need for our journey to awakening lies within us. In the beginning, spirituality appears like a bud on a bloom, opening gradually, tempting us with a glimpse of its splendour and unfathomable depths. It is here we create the blueprint for our collective existence.’
Probably, this is a wake up call for every one of us to impress on our kids that the journey to success is not easy. They should understand that it entails hard work and discipline. However, parents and educators should start evaluating the expectations that they have of their kids. Are they too high that it’s driving kids crazy causing them to do dishonest things just to produce expected results?