Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
Students are being warned about the consequences of plagiarism after the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) revoked the grades of 70 Jamaica College students who sat physics for the 2013 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) earlier this year.
The decision was made after CXC officials measured reports of irregularities with the school-based assessments (SBA) for CAPE physics submitted for the entire sixth-form cohort at JC.
Sharon Reid, president of the Jamaica Association of Principals of Secondary Schools, said that it was imperative that students be warned about the consequences of plagiarism.
"We have to emphasise the need for proper accountability systems to be placed within our schools, because dishonesty is prevalent anywhere you go, even in the Church, and as an association we have made note of this," she declared.
"We empathise with the school (JC), because it could have happened anywhere. Young people oftentimes always try to get around the system, but you would expect that professionals would practise proper ethics. So this tells us that we have to be vigilant as educators," she said.
Handle with care
Likewise, the Ministry of Education, in a release, also stressed the need for SBAs to be handled with care.
They also advised students to display integrity and honesty in carrying out their studies.
"Students should be taught about what constitutes plagiarism and about how to reference other people's work. In essence, this is a simple courtesy; it is saying 'thank you' for allowing me to use your work," said Elaine Foster Allen, permanent secretary in the ministry.
In addition, she has asked schools to put systems in place to support students who feel the need to alert administrators when they detect unprofessional behaviour by any member of staff.