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The worst of Polish education. No wonder Polish universities are bottom of the list.


Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
13 Feb 2011 #1
yesterday i was talking to a university student who said that they had problems with recent exams.
this person failed at least one exam. I asked what the problem was and i was told by this person that they didn't have a crib sheet, didn't use a phone and didn't have a radio.

being a little confused by the mention of a radio i let the comment go.

today i was chatting to someone from university and i mentioned the radio. "it's not a radio. it's spyware" i was told. (an earpiece and mic.)

so it seems that cheats have moved on. i was also informed that invigilators are aware of this problem and that it has been going on for a couple of years. moreover, when these radio cheats are spotted they are then seated together... as this disrupts the signal.

students are also photographing or copying the test paper (when the test is done on a computer) and then sending it to an outside source. they then wait and copy the reply.

this is all well organized through private forums and facebook etc.

When two unconnected people tell me about this i imagine that there must be some truth in it.

Question: in the opinion of students in Poland, what is the truth ?
AdamKadmon 2 | 508
13 Feb 2011 #2
So it seems that cheats have moved UP.

If you can read Polish, read this!
rmf24.pl/fakty/polska/news-kamela-sowinska-tlumaczy-sie-z-kolejnego-oskarzenia-o,nId,269369
Harry
13 Feb 2011 #3
Question: in the opinion of students in Poland, what is the truth ?

I saw an incredible amount of cheating when I worked at Polish universities. The problem is that cheating is widely accepted and the punishments for those who get caught are very mild. When I was at university in UK it was made very clear to us that getting caught cheating would mean at best automatic failure of that year and more probably being sent down. Here the student just has to redo the exam in question!
OP Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
13 Feb 2011 #4
If you can read

Thanks. Cheating at all levels seems to be ok.

I'd like to know more about cheating by radio/spyware. Is this really going on among students.
terri 1 | 1,627
13 Feb 2011 #5
I cannot for the life of me understand why students have to go and sit exams. OIn this day and age...
All Universities should just give out their Diploma without the students having to attend one lesson.
Students have better things to do than go and sit and listen to lectures and as for sitting exams - well, that just takes the biscuit.

No wonder, having a Diploma from any University has been devalued to 'paper' for wiping your bottom with.
OP Wroclaw 44 | 5,387
13 Feb 2011 #6
I cannot for the life of me understand why students have to go and sit exams.

i'm beginning to wonder too. i understand that with some exams the percentage pass rate is so low that the exams have to be dumbed down the second time around.

the real problem is caused by the need for a degree in the first place. most students seem to attend university for the free ride. and they get through on a wing and a prayer.
anastazja
13 Feb 2011 #7
When two unconnected people tell me about this i imagine that there must be some truth in it.

I was a student and never heard of such things...
jonni 16 | 2,485
13 Feb 2011 #8
I was a teacher and saw it many, many times.
anastazja
13 Feb 2011 #9
how does it look like? I can bearly imagine such thing working. I guess even James Bond wouldn't be ashamed of such toy if it really existed...

Wow I just find a news: "Podpowiadali maturzyście przez radio"

Seriously, I haven't got idea that such things happen. How he managed to hide speakers though?
jonni 16 | 2,485
13 Feb 2011 #10
how does it look like?

I never noticed any electronic wizadry, but lots of bits of paper, whispering etc. Once I was challenged by a young lady who asked me if I wanted some of them to pass and some to fail.

It isn't by any means unique to Poland, though. In some parts of the Middle East it is the rule rather than the exception.

edit

I just noticed Stu's post below. In some countries (I don't mean Poland, here) I wouldn't really trust doctors' qualifications. Too often I've seen a student who abyssmally failed exams get top marks when the results are published, because of who Daddy is.
Stu 12 | 522
13 Feb 2011 #11
In the last couple of weeks, they caught a couple of students cheating on two high schools here in the Netherlands. Consequently the laws will be changed so that students who are caught cheating, will be expelled and won't be admitted to any university or high school, so in effect one would have thrown away one's own future.

I think this should be a European rule. I wouldn't want to have a "bogus" specialist operating on me, or some bogus lawyer, or accountant, or whatever.
anastazja
13 Feb 2011 #12
I never noticed any electronic wizadry, but lots of bits of paper, whispering etc.

well yeah, it's true that many students cheat but Wroclaw was asking about the electronic devices. But it's easy to put your foot down - just announce that you won't tolarate any cheating and every person cought will have to take the exam in another semester.

In some parts of the Middle East it is the rule rather than the exception.

But not in Europe... ;)

In the last couple of weeks, they caught a couple of students cheating on two high schools here in the Netherlands.

Just 2? And national media talks about it? Wow. I was always a fan of Dutch ethics... it seems like perfect society!
jonni 16 | 2,485
13 Feb 2011 #13
Wroclaw was asking about the electronic devices

I've seen sms cheating in PL once. In Saudi, they do it in real time using Blackberries.
Stu 12 | 522
13 Feb 2011 #14
Just 2? And national media talks about it? Wow. I was always a fan of Dutch ethics... it seems like perfect society!

Well ... there were two cases that came to light in the last week. And people got fed up with it. Hence the change in the law. But I don't think it is enough to change national law, since we can study anywhere in the world. A substantial amount of Dutch (often the more mediocre) students already go to Belgium to study to avoid the numerus clausus which exists here for several studies.
anastazja
13 Feb 2011 #15
It seems not only in Poland there's "electronic" cheating:

guardian. co. uk /education /2010 /feb/ 03/ exam-cheating-mobile-phone-increase
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
13 Feb 2011 #16
The system is wrong. If one needs 100h of learning (in free time) some usless nonsense to pass the exam then can anyone be surprised that they area cheating ? I would be more worried If they didn't.

No wonder Polish universities are bottom of the list.

I've just checked some ranking. All the top places go to the universities from US/UK/Australia/Canada. The best German is in the 6th ten, the best Russian is around the 100th position and the best Italian near the end of the 2nd hundred. The only way to make such ranking useful is to print it and leave in the toilet.
BBman - | 344
13 Feb 2011 #17
Cheating is rampant in Polish schools and the worst thing about it is that profs tend to turn a blind eye. Somehow it seems as though it is accepted.
Torq 26 | 2,371
13 Feb 2011 #18
Cheating at all levels seems to be ok.

It's sad isn't it?

In primary and secondary schools making a student repeat a year is almost impossible.
The amount of trouble, paperwork, threats, scurrilous remarks, abuse and persecution
from parents and superiors, that a teacher would have to face, if he wanted to leave
a student in the same class for the next year is so enormous, that teachers simply
let everyone pass. So, they turn a blind eye to cheating - so the marks are higher
and they don't have to worry. It's an absolute disgrace.

At universities it's similar. The number of students have risen from 400 thousand in 1990
to 2 million today. It doesn't mean that suddenly there are 5 times as many people able
to finish higher studies, as there were in 1990. The number remained the same, but the level
of higher education in Poland today is absolutely abysmal. People who would find it extremely
difficult to pass their matura exam 20-25 years ago, graduate from universities today.
It is all a one, big, educational fiction, but to upkeep this fiction you have to let the 80%
of idiots cheat - as they would never be able to pass any exam without it (despite much
lower level of higher education than in the past.)

It is a shame, a disgrace. One of the things that always annoyed me the most about Poland
and that I could never accept. The cheaters later become businessmen, doctors, lawyers,
policemen and politicians and guess what - they keep cheating... surprise, surprise.

Sorry, Borrka - I remember about your thread in "Rozmowy po polsku", and caring about
Poland's image and all, but it's something that cannot be hidden and has to FINALLY be
dealt with. A disgrace...
Harry
13 Feb 2011 #19
Too often I've seen a student who abyssmally failed exams get top marks when the results are published, because of who Daddy is.

One time I failed a student because she didn't turn up for the final exam and then refused to take the retake exam (which was an open book question known in advance exam) because "I can't answer that question". I gave her a 2 but the day after next I saw that my mark had been crossed out and she'd been given a 5 by the department director. Strangely, her father was a major investor in the director's private high school....
JaneDoe 5 | 114
13 Feb 2011 #20
It's sad isn't it?

It is. Maybe a higher punishment for that would change it.
Torq 26 | 2,371
13 Feb 2011 #21
Certainly, but there is no will at all to give teachers power to deal any punishment.
The government, education ministry and school head-masters are on the side of
cheating idiots, not on the teachers' side.
anastazja
13 Feb 2011 #22
I think we can easly draw to student's ambitions by changing the name of "ściąganie" to "oszustwo", "oszukiwanie" just like in English. I doubt that students now feel that they do something bad. They don't feel they are cheaters. They just think that they're proving they are smart and clever or that are lucky when can see somebody's answers. It's something which should be taught from early age. Instead of that we learn our kids that the most important thing is to reach the aim by all means and it's good to be sly. Just look how much energy they use to think of some sophisticated method of cheating! If only they were so determinated when learning...

It's all about bringing up. Even the most severe punishment won't help if we don't start learn kids ethics.

Btw. why ethics can't be an obligatory subject (now it's only an alternative instead of religion lessons only in some schools). Kids in Poland needs not only be taught about cheating on exams, an elementar probity etc. but they need to be taught how to respect others (which is also a big problem because kids are so disrespectful to each other... and when they grow up, they are like many users here ;)

not on the teachers' side.

My teacher in middle school was saying that's good to write cheating sheets because when preparig it kids learn! Wow... unbelievable, isn't it?
Ironside 48 | 9,837
13 Feb 2011 #23
Consequently the laws will be changed so that students who are caught cheating, will be expelled and won't be admitted to any university or high school, so in effect one would have thrown away one's own future.

I support above statement.

However I noticed that is European tendency, on all levels standard of schools are going to the dogs!
anastazja
13 Feb 2011 #24
I'm just curious if those Poles who partake in discussion have clear conscience and never cheated in school...
jonni 16 | 2,485
13 Feb 2011 #25
The thing to do is to remember her father's name and her name, pop the whole story anonymously on the internet in English and in Polish, copy it to a couple of free sites (outside Polish jurisdiction) and link them to as many fora and other websites as possible. Live by the sword...

My teacher in middle school was saying that's good to write cheating sheets because when preparig it kids learn! Wow... unbelievable, isn't it?

I tried it myself when I was a kid (for a weekly test, not an exam). By the time I'd got the Latin declensions written small enough to go inside the bic biro, I could remember them. Still can.
anastazja
13 Feb 2011 #26
(for a weekly test, not an exam)

oh and that's an excuse! ;)
Torq 26 | 2,371
13 Feb 2011 #27
I'm just curious if those Poles who partake in discussion have clear conscience and never cheated in school...

I never cheated during a test or an exam but once, before a test in highschool, someone
got the questions from another group of students that had classes with the same teacher
and I checked them too...

*lowers his eyes in shame*
southern 75 | 7,096
13 Feb 2011 #28
Exactly.It is the same in Greece.The middle class presses for lower exam standards so that their offsprings get the degree and the position of their ancestors.It is a central cause of the current financial crisis and will be fixed only if we hang the offsprings.
alexw68
13 Feb 2011 #29
I never cheated during a test or an exam but once

Well, respect for admitting it and telling it like it is a bit further up the page.

As someone else said here - it's far from a uniquely Polish issue. Even when you take cheating out of the equation the sheer increase in numbers partaking in Higher Ed has of course led to a drop in quality. The main culprits in the UK are Masters courses (the taught ones you can get on with little or no prior knowledge of the subject - certainly not an undergraduate level of understanding, anyway).

Case in point: my second alma mater was accepting doctoral proposals from B- grade students in their linguistics/applied linguistics program. Never mind that the linguistics department was located in the Cognitive Science faculty, and a renowned one at that, they were more interested in putting arses on seats than upholding the quality of research. And the research, such as it was, would invariably be some empirically unprovable crap drenched in Gallic rockstar postmodernism and without a shred of validity whatsoever.

Without wishing to blow my own trumpet (I'd just delivered a genuine research project that hadn't and hasn't been bettered in the 25 years that course has run) that was the point when I said f*ck this for a laugh and got into what I do now. Now people are honest, if you're below standard they will tell you that you're a ****ing waste of their time and money, but they'll be fairly generous when you get it right. That's the kind of world uni everywhere should be preparing you for - and it manifestly doesn't.
anastazja
13 Feb 2011 #30
In Poland since 2006 every major has to be devided into bachelors (licencjat) and masters (magister) degree levels = studia dwustopniowe. Once you have licencjat you can study every magister major you want regardless of your licencjat major. It calls "system boloński" I guess...


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