Culled from Arcus Dictionary, plagiarism: a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work. However, the natural philosophy teaches that being able to present the concept of a term in your own words, as it freely flows from the mind is near to the truth, if not the truth.
My years in creative writing has made me come to understand that plagiarism is an act by which undue credits are taken upon another’s creative outpour, mostly without consent and omission of reference to the original creator. A plagiarist can then be said to be a new age Antonio (in the words of Shakespeare’s Tempest).
While I was undergoing Basic education then in a private setting, I incurred antagonism from peers and some teachers, as well. This was due to the fact that I believe in what can be crafted by the ten fingers and not what can be dubbed by two eyes. Dubbing is an act, which has eaten deep into the pupils and students likewise (word for word;verbatim). If however we understand the implication of this act nurtured from tender age, we would get to know that it is a parent background for plagiarism.
A child dub his classmate’s work, simply because he was indolent to work on the assignment given or couldn’t stretch out of his comfort zone to scribble something out. He however has high hopes that his brilliant classmate would allow him to dub the answers before morning assembly on Monday. We feel this has no implications but it goes a long way in creating an unnecessary dependency, an addiction to the sweat of others hence creating stagnancy for the latter.
I remembered a fracas I got into while undergoing my basic education in Oloye Group Of School. My class teacher had made it seemingly compulsory to allow a fellow classmate to dub from an assignment I worked on for weeks. This got me really angered and unsatisfied, my (ego) as people might tag it arose when she had to flog me for being obstinate. Under no given permission, I left the class and despite all pleas, I refused to access the class again. Being a topnotch pupil then, it was definitely a great loss to have me withdraw and this was one of the factors by which I became a pupil of Sunfab Group of School but that is a story for another day. The point has been made.
On normal days, I commune with fellow classmates who are like minds. We do some school works together and task one another on projects. This was not infuriating because a tree cannot make a forest but dead seeds around the great mahogany won’t make a farm sef. I move with like minds, I relate ideas to people who I believe aren’t totally dull academically (forgive me, if this sounds harsh).
People tag me as a patient of self centeredness, undue ego and someone who has been infected with the I-TOO-KNOW syndrome. It will however be shocking to know that someone in this light will some days scribble some lines and when it is plagiarised, he cries out. What is he protecting ? His work ? His pride ? His image ?
The little things we do really count. Charity begins at home, they say. School is home as well and whatever have been created in the mindset of a young child lives for long. It is necessary to create an independent spirit and the system of belief in one self, hence killing the monstrous demon tagged inferiority complex.
When next you see a child dubbing another work, try to stop him not by violence but by enlightenment. If not, that same boy might someday plagiarise a random work on Facebook in the name of “I love it” and the fierce WAP would make sure his name gets in the mud. Examination malpractice breeds plagiarism likewise.
Till the quill bleeds again.
YUSUF ALABI BALOGUN
Convener, War Against Plagiarism.
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