Wednesday, 29 Sep, 2021

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Copy-paste culture engulfing the youth

Alaul Alam, Guest Writer |
Update: 2020-12-05 14:00:45
Copy-paste culture engulfing the youth Alaul Alam

It seems not astounding if students opine that google is the best teacher. In today’s world students are no more dependent on teachers to seek answers of their questions, rather they can get all the solutions instantly entering the google search engine that has made a revolution in education system. 

But this revolution is not solely a blessing as in many cases students are found entirely dependent on it and hardly try to expose their potentials and creativity in learning. Besides, they develop the tendency of becoming addicted to copy-paste culture while they are learning, which is a constant threat for their education and future life along with a dire impact on the country’s education system. 

Truly, copy-paste culture has emerged as a pandemic over the years. Students from schools to universities are engaged in copy-paste culture due to the easy access to internet. They hardly take idea from others’ papers to create a new knowledge, rather they are being habituated to steal others’ ideas blindly. 

Certainly, this academic misconduct has flooded amid the pandemic engulfing the learners. Amid the new normal trend of teaching, teachers find no alternatives to assess students by their assignments and for this, students are given direction to submit assignment, which instigates many to copy information directly from google.

It may be pertinent to ask; are our own thoughts really ours? It has already been an issue of debates as in many cases we are not producing a new thought, rather, are stick to reproducing the ideas already existing. As I have been for years in teaching, I have witnessed many incidents how students spontaneously copy others’ work without giving any acknowledgement. Not only that, in most cases they copy their friends’ assignment and submit to their teachers.  

Recently, I had an opportunity to work as one of the judges of an English Essay Writing Competition. The arrangement committee emailed me 16 writes-up to judge on. I went through all the writes-up and found that almost 10 out of 16 writings were coped from various sources and in some cases in order to get their plagiarism unidentified they sometimes made a few changes in the sentences. 

Things are getting tougher at tertiary level of education where not only students are associated with such a crime but also many teachers are found stealing information from others and claiming to be their own. 

In recent time many more incidents of information theft have exposed in the dailies, even some teachers of the top universities in the country were engaged in content theft. Obviously, students follow their teachers as their model and when teachers choose the wrong way, there is hardly any ways to prevent students from misleading.  

Studies reveal that students in higher education are mostly keen to copy-paste in written assignments or take-home exams without following proper referencing system. They hardly acknowledge the sources, in many cases they do not know how to cite from others’ papers. 

Another thing is that in most cases, teachers fail to detect plagiarism and sometimes they are found indifferent to students’ academic misconduct, rather the students who get engaged in copy-paste are given higher marks that ultimately encourage others to do so. 

The causes of this evil culture are many. Easy access to the sources, reluctance of students to show any creativity, lack of authentic tools to check plagiarism may be the key factors responsible for looming copy-paste culture. 

Undoubtedly, the copy-paste culture has a dire consequence on the education sector. This harmful culture affects the individuals with loss of creativity likely to make them unskilled, which may lead to unemployment. On top of that, the country undergoes a heavy challenge and it disrupts the normal spontaneity in teaching and learning. Also it can encourage more thefts and moral degradation causing generation catastrophe.

However, academic misconduct cannot be endured at any circumstances. In European, American, or in Australian universities the act of plagiarism is addressed harshly, even the studentship may be cancelled for that or in case of gross violation students may be charged with imprisonment. But in those countries the rate of committing plagiarism is very rare as students are ingrained with strong morals. 

Lastly, to avert the catastrophe in education sector, there finds no alternatives to introducing harsh law against copy-paste culture. It would be the responsibility of teachers to boost up students with moral power. In this regard, families and schools can act as powerful institutions in instilling righteousness. Teachers should be dedicated enough to make their students help to be creative. 

The culture of citing others’ papers should be mandatory at all levels of education and teachers should make students understand how to cite properly. More importantly, it is not a sin to quote form a good article or any study but it should be properly credited to its original author. 

Writer: Alaul Alam teaches at Prime University 
           Email: [email protected]

BDST: 1400 HRS, DEC 05, 2020

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