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Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating
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    Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating

    Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating

    By Cod Satrusayang

    BANGKOK (DPA) When Nui snuck into her professor's office to get the answers for an upcoming exam, she wasn't doing it to rise to the top of her university class, she said, but simply not to be left behind.

    "I did it because everyone else was doing it and it seemed like an easy way to get an A," said the 20-year-old student from the humanities department of Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University.

    "I didn't cheat because I wanted to get ahead."

    Nui, not her real name, is far from an exception in Thailand, where higher education has been blighted by plagiarism and cheating for years. But with the trend starting to tarnish the country's reputation, educators are beginning to address the issue seriously.

    "Outside of China, Thailand is probably the worst offender in Asia in terms of plagiarism and falsified applications," an admissions officer at an American university told dpa.

    He said that applications from Thailand are scrutinized for doctored transcripts and ghostwritten essays. He told the story of two essays he received, nearly identical in style and terminology.

    When he investigated he found that both applications originated from the same agency offering support services to applicants.

    "It seems in both countries [China and Thailand] plagiarism is a serious epidemic and it needs to be dealt with."

    Thai universities are also taking steps. On Thursday, Chulalongkorn made available to other universities a computer programme it designed to check thesis papers for plagiarism.

    The Thai Office for Higher Education said all higher education institutions must use the internet-based Turnitin programme to check for plagiarism in all academic papers from September.

    "I think any kind of attempt to combat plagiarism is a good thing," said Panuwat Panduprasert, a lecturer at Chiang Mai University.

    "Universities have not been cracking down on hard enough. State universities are pretty slow to adapt because of bureaucracy."

    To some students cheating is justified because of the pressure to excel.

    "Cheating is considered normal among Thai students," said Thanawat Kheawdoknoi, a 22-year-old graduate from Thammasat University.

    "They have always been taught that having great grades means you're smart and affects how people think of you.

    "It doesn't matter how you get there as long as you do."

    Lecturers like Panuwat said that universities' longstanding acceptance of cheating has created a prisoner's dilemma.

    "Students think that everyone is doing it and if they don't they will lose out," he said.

    But the universities are starting to clamp down. "I've had students repeat a year for bringing in a cheat sheet," said Narudh Areesorn, a former lecturer at Mahidol University in Bangkok.

    Narudh said instances of bringing notes into lectures are rare. Students more frequently steal exam papers from professors, which he regards as "soft cheating."

    Thais are increasingly criticized for misrepresenting themselves in applications to universities overseas, often with the connivance of specialized agencies, Fortune Magazine reported in February.

    For a hefty fee, these centres guarantee acceptance into an elite Ivy League institution in the US.

    Their methods include ghost-writing application essays, coaching interview sessions, and in some cases falsifying transcripts or creating fake outreach projects to pad a candidate's application.

    To middle- and upper-class Thai parents, the fee - which can exceed 30,000 dollars - is worth it. Attendance at prestigious overseas universities is seen as a symbol of status and gives parents bragging rights when talking about their child.

    "You have to understand for Thais, education is very important," said Eed, a parent who asked not to give her full name.

    "Getting into a top university is paramount otherwise we fall behind the other families. The centres have guaranteed us there is no cheating involved," said Eed, whose daughter is enrolled with one such programme.

    But admissions officers are doubtful, the Fortune report said, indicating that the spread of application service providers has made colleges more wary of applications from Thailand.

    Tufts University in the United States threw out a quarter of Thai applications for suspected cheating in 2013, the article quoted an admissions officer as saying.

    "These parents need to realize that there is no need to cheat," said a college admissions advisor at an international high school in Thailand.

    The source argues that these centres also undermine the long-term development of students and could cause problems academically in college as students enter the top universities unprepared.

    "What's worse is the example these parents and guidance centres are setting for these students. They go into life thinking that cheating and shortcutting are normal and that is a horrible thing to teach a child."

    KHAOSOD

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    Re: Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating

    Hi

    I have the same problem in 2nd and 3rd grade it is a constant fight for me to keep the students from copying off the 3 or 4 really bright students who do the work. it really shows up on test scores
    but this is Thailand test scores don't mean anything every body pass's

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    Re: Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating

    The following story appeared in the British newspaper, The Telegraph, last August. The Telegraph is considered a quality newspaper.

    University students made to wear anti-cheating helmets

    Students in Thailand appear to have been forced to wear helmets to prevent them from cheating during exams.




    In an effort to curb rampant cheating, Bangkok's Kasetsart University created an anti-deceit paper helmet for students to wear during their midterm exams. Photo: Facebook

    By Daily Telegraph reporter

    3:00PM BST 16 Aug 2013

    Photographs posted to a Bangkoks Kasetsart University alumni Facebook page appears to show students wearing a helmet, which consist of a piece of paper wrapped around the head and pieces of paper stapled to either side.

    Kasetsart University is a public university, ranked one of the best in Thailand and with a focus on agriculture, food, technology and innovation.

    The low-tech anti-cheating helmet invention doesnt look sophisticated, but would function like horse blinkers and prevent wearers from glancing to the side which should prevent any sneaky peeks at neighbours answers.

    And it seems the anti-cheating helmet has caught on, with Weerachai Phutdhawong, a University of Agricultural Sciences associate professor, posting photos of several versions on Facebook.





    One design resembles a cardboard box, with a hole cut out for the neck and one side removed, so that wearers can see.

    But another version has only a small slit cut out for the eyes, to limit vision even further.

    In February this year, the Thai Education Ministry on Wednesday asked the Department of Special Investigation to investigate suspected cheating in its teacher recruitment examination.

    And claims of widespread cheating in a national police exam was alsoinvestigated by the Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO).

    Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...g-helmets.html
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    Re: Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating

    I would have thought the universities would already have implemented the Turnitin for students as plagiarism is a very serious offence in academic circles. How did they manage to scrutinise the students' essays without the software or a similar programme? I hope the education system did not think it was not an important issue.

    Getting good grades and being accepted into a prestigious school all contribute to the face of the student and his/her family. But it is time the perpetrators look beyond that and focus on honesty and integrity which will help guide them in life in the future. Or perhaps I am too optimistic and having face is too ingrained in the Thai culture and psyche for this scourge to be totally eradicated?

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    Re: Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating

    Maybe it needs to begin with the attitude of the parents and grandparents, with major emphasis on integrity rather than outward signs of success.

    Surely most of us would feel humiliated to have to wear that thing on our heads, and wouldn't our parents have been ashamed of us?

    I do not mean to imply that I think all Thai parents condone or encourage cheating, nor that there aren't parents outside of Thailand who would ignore cheating as long as their child doesn't get caught. The problem exists all over the world to a certain extent. Thailand just happens to be in the news right now.
    Last edited by Susana; 04-07-14 at 12:58 AM.

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    Re: Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    Surely most of us would feel humiliated to have to wear that thing on our heads, and wouldn't our parents have been ashamed of us?
    And I don't see how it works as when you turn your head to see what the person next to you has written it turns with your head...

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    Re: Thailand's Students Marked Down For Cheating

    Quote Originally Posted by Susana View Post
    Maybe it needs to begin with the attitude of the parents and grandparents, with major emphasis on integrity rather than outward signs of success.
    Agree-but parents and grandparents also need to be set good examples too. Starting with politicians. remember reading years ago that the reason that people in rural areas are very happy to sell their votes is because they know that those elected are going to use their position enrich themselves one way or another.
    Furthermore, people have to participate in corruption to get anything done quickly-particularly anything concerning government servants, the majority of whom being poorly paid it is almost as though they are expected to make up the shortfall by accepting bribes to expedite matters. I remember Richard tweeting on trying to renew his visa that an official was trying to extract money out of him to process his paperwork properly-he even took photos of the guy and posted them-which caused a bit of a panic in the office concerned at the time I recall!
    I have little confidence that upcoming political reforms etc will change any of these practices.

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