Greetings, beloved readers.
The previous writeup must have shed a light on the concept of plagiarism, at least to a considerable extent. However, this writeup will definitely be a continual eye opener as to the little things we do that breeds plagiarism.
A slogan is common in the new age schools “eni to mo way, lo mo iwe” which literally implies “he who knows the way, knows the book”. This strategically pinpoints that ingenuity and effervescent burning of candles won’t determine a student’s success in exams. Permit me to call a spade by its name – examination malpractice.
At the last page of a WASSCE question paper is inscribed :
“Examination malpractice is corruption !!! Do not engage in it”.
A-make-believe impression is created by different examination centres during this period.“Don’t bring in phones or gadgets, don’t bring in key points, textbooks, notepads…whatever seems implicative”. But a thousand naira is enough to pass an examination without reading, it is not bribe. It is kola nut.
But where am I really headed ? Evil is evil, irrespective of the methods used. It won’t be surprising when an assumed 200 level student plagiarises a poem for his school project and still stands by it. Why ? Isn’t that the brunt of a dilapidated educational sector ?
Name withheld, someone has plagiarised my poem and offered me two thousand naira. The look was killing enough, does it seems like I wanna make fast money from my writings ? Then, these plagiarists don’t really know the gravity of their atrocities.
All forms of writings are weapons, it would be annoying if we fall a victim of what we preach. It might seem weird but I sure know some writers pardon the plagiarists of their works in the name of a measly money, thereby creating an impression that writers (basically poets) are poverty stricken and hungry. If I pardon a plagiarist, it would be because he took down the post or tendered an apology letter. No money, I repeat, no money can trade off my works. We wanna make money from poetry but that shouldn’t bedevil our sense of reasoning. And this is exactly what happens during external examinations.
Teachers are paid meagre, they can’t wait till they get to heaven for their reward. Some might just find themselves in Hades, you know. So they want to make money from teaching and they believe the best thing is to apply what they need to give the students what is required. Relatively, the writer want to apply what he seeks to give the plagiarist what he wants. Are we killing or breeding plagiarism ? Freelancing is another thing entirely, don’t get it mixed up.
The little things we do really count. That examination malpractice might just be a parent background for plagiarism. The sooner you know, the better.
Till the quill bleeds again.
© YUSUF ALABI BALOGUN,
Convener, War Against Plagiarism.
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