Is Cheating Part Of Chinese Culture?
Cheating seems to be a very common problem here in China. From the classroom to the boardroom. Sometimes it seems as if it is just an acceptable and expected way of life.
We recently gave mid-term exams at a high school where I teach a few classes a week. The students were all put into a large lecture hall with two seats between them as they took the exam. They are placed this way to try to keep them from cheating. Regardless, as one of the monitors of the exam, I moved one of the smarter students (he ended up getting the highest score in the class) because of the boy behind him attempting to see his exam.
When I talked to one teacher about this problem she said, "Well, if you were sitting next to someone and could cheat, wouldn't you?" I said, "Absolutely not. In the USA if a student so much as glances (takes a quick look) at another student's exam, the teacher is very likely to give him a score of zero with no way of making it up. Besides, I wouldn't trust his answers if I could see his exam and decided to cheat." By the teacher's response, I realized that cheating is so common that it is expected by the teachers.
I gave one exam at a local university where the person who ran the copies for my exam gave (or perhaps 'sold') the exam to my students before I gave it. Still, some students failed the exam. I suppose they didn't have the money to pay her. Even then, she wanted me to give the exam again to the students who failed. I found it somewhat incredible that you would give the same exam twice to a student who failed and who had rarely ever come to class. She said, "This is how we do it in China." I said, "No wonder most people have have little to no respect for the schools here and want to send their kids abroad."