When I was teaching, I did not have any problem with students copying. I would even offer to help them with their copying as after all, they were only cheating themselves and at the same time, I would tell them to think hard about how they would tell their kids. Would they confess to them and tell them the truth? “No need to study so hard lah! Just copy! That was what I did when I was in school!” Or would they lie through their teeth? “Study hard! Just like me when I was in school!” The message seemed to get through to them and they would quietly toe the line.
Children learn from those around them, their parents in particular. The following extract is from African writer, Bessie Head’s short story, “Looking for a Rain God”:
“…Only the children, Neo and Boseyong, were quite happy in their little girl world. They carried on with their game of making house like their mother…They made children from sticks around which they tied rags and scolded them severely in an exact imitation of their own mother…And then they would beat the rag-dolls on their bottoms with severe expressions…”
The message is obvious – that children learn by imitating the adults.
I have shared this video clip on Facebook but it got only one response. I wonder why there seemed to be a general lack of interest or whether everyone who watched it was speechless…with guilt.
I see some of the posts and comments made by certain parties on Facebook and elsewhere and I would cringe at the liberal use of four-letter words to curse and swear. Is it because it is considered more manly, more macho to pepper your conversation with such repulsive vocabulary? Over the years, I have often heard people talking like that in the coffee shops – at the top of their voices, every line generously punctuated with expletives…and I would wonder whether they learnt that from their parents or their peers…and what kind of children they would bring up in future.
It is a vicious cycle…and though we are only humans, no saints or angels, we should at least make an effort to try to see and think…and change.
Have a Blessed and Holy Sunday, everyone.