A pack of hounds

Students silhouettes, a random picture

Teachers here are no different than a pack of hound dogs left loose to literally hound their students. There is no check and balance on their activities – they do whatever they please, however they please. Course outlines, decided by a so-called ‘Academic Council,’ are barely followed and rarely covered. Assignments are a farce, as are the labs, and learning is scarce.

Plagiarism is once such concept that is strictly ‘enforced’ here at TIP according to our prospectus and every single course outline. And at the beginning of each semester, most teachers summarily state that plagiarism is unacceptable. But by the end of the semester most students submit assignments and give presentations that they acquired from senior students or from other colleges, which are then duly accepted by teachers and given wonderful results. I’m sitting in the computer lab as a type this, and I see three design students (TD2) scan whole chapters from various books, OCR them, and prepare to submit them as “original assignments.” A presentation-cum-assignment I once made, I have seen submitted by different students to 5 different teachers. Some assignments in particular have been doing the ’rounds’ ever since I came to TIP.

Don’t teachers see this? Can they not identify when a student has plagiarized; copy-pasted of the internet, scanned from a magazine or book, or copied from another student’s assignment? Just this semester for a particular course I took, there were probably no more than three “different” assignments shared between 41 students and submitted to the same teacher – and with surety I can say that each of these “different” assignments are lifted from some other source.

I wouldn’t blame the students, they’re only working the loopholes in the university’s system. The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the administration who apparently doesn’t check on the activities of their faculty. Its time to put a leash to these hounds.

The Beginning of the End

Around the lake at TIP, we have some lovely plants

The cure to writer’s block is Oreos. It’s only by consuming nearly a boxful that I’ve managed to begin this article. By the time I end it however, I’m certain we’ll all be comfortably sitting in our homes watching the latest episode of ‘ Kusum’ or whatever Indian drama is fashionable nowadays.

I’ll give you this though; the semester passed faster than a speeding bullet. I still recall the first day of university like it was a week ago. At this pace, I’ll be over with TIP before I know it and before I have any idea what’s going on. We first years only have half a year left as the center of attention. Soon another batch of straight-from-the-schoolroom boys and girls will take our place as celebrities. Sigh…all good things come to an end; the semester is ending, the year is ending, the Pakistan-England cricket series is ending and so is my box of Oreos. I wish scientists would invent something useful, like time turners, rather than wasting their energy in alternately increasing and decreasing the size of mobile phones.

I keep thinking…just one week left. That’s all. Maybe I am being melodramatic but think about it: time’s flying and not on fairy wings either, but on giant turbo jet engines. You can see every minute running past and by the time you eventually notice it, it’s over. And the worst part is knowing that what just happened wont occur again. The moment is gone, get used to it.
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