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26 May 2011 15:05
‘At our school, nobody steals. Theft only happens at other schools.” Really? Sadly, that’s not true.
Theft occurs in all schools.
There was an incident when a child complained to a teacher: “Somebody stole money from my school bag!” There was an empathetic but no-nonsense reply. The learner was reminded of the often-stated school rule always to keep money on your person.
Why wasn’t the rule adhered to, the teacher wanted to know. Theft can be interpreted very narrowly. It can be seen as applying only to stealing physical items such as money, food, sports kit and school uniform. Yet there’s also intellectual theft.
Copying the maths homework answers of a classmate is a common one. Then there is the increasingly familiar plagiarism or “lifting” the work of others. Millions of students from primary school through to university level dabble in this deceit.
They steal the intellectual work of others and claim that it is their own work. They don’t acknowledge their sources. The internet is a plagiarist’s paradise of copy and paste.
SAQI (the South African Quality Institute) does school leadership and management programmes across the country. Poor schools are sponsored. For workshop details, contact either Vanessa du Toit (012-349-5006; email@example.com) or Richard Hayward (011-888-3262; firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is no free school lunch—source: Richard Hayward
How to manage and prevent stealing in schools
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