I know, 2 blog posts in 2 days lucky your right? Well this one is worth a mention in and of itself.
I observed my co-teacher give the first real test today in the Cambodian classroom and I should have seen what was coming. There is a certain sense of community here that you don’t get anywhere else in the world and it is interesting how accepted a thing like cheating on an exam can be.
As soon as he had handed out the tests the students went to work completing the few test items they knew before looking to the stronger kids in class. That’s when the fun started.
Everyone was up out of their seats watching the stronger students in class and copying their answers, one kid literally hand his test out the window and it was handed back five minutes later with all answers completed.
Now I will give them credit because although the way in which they cheated was blatantly obvious and the subtly of their answers actually made me laugh out loud in front of the class.
Here is one of the sample questions:
Q: Tell one thing you will do tomorrow.
Kid 1 A: I will go to Chhuk market and buy food.
Kid 2 A: I will go to Chhuk market and buy clothes.
After I had seen that I had what could only be called a cheating riot I felt really small, not literally but in a figurative sense because it was obvious to me that this was just what the kids were accustomed to and to try and change something like this would be confusing to the kids.
But damnit I’m going to give it one hell of a try.