Beat the cheat!
Tips for kids (and their parents) on avoiding resorting to cheating in exams.
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The recent scandal in which 58 out of 117 exam centres were found to have matric students that had cheated in the 2014 exams has led to an outcry and calls for the Department of Education to investigate, according to News24.

Instances included one school at which 40 pupils submitted papers with exactly the same answers and another which suggested that an exam invigilator may have helped maths pupils in an exam. Seven of the nine provinces were implicated in cheating scandals.

While the DoE is set to investigate incidents of cheating, parents are also being encouraged to participate in teaching children an honest approach to academics and exams.
Here are some tips for parents of schoolchildren on how to help your child to achieve their best without having to resort to cheating:

Beat the cheat!

•    Encourage your child that in all efforts at school they should do their best, and, if they are struggling with a particular concept or subject to approach their school, teacher or parents for assistance.
•    Ensure they understand that cheating in exams will get them barred from writing matric and that this will go on their academic record.
•    From earlier on in their school careers, insist that they do their own work rather than relying on the assistance of parents- particularly when it comes to doing projects and themes.
•    Teach (and model) integrity in the home and as an approach to life. This means following through with your declared intentions and not acquiescing when pressure builds up.
•    Assist with regular homework and revision times to ensure adequate preparation for exams. You could conduct mock tests and exams, for example. Some children work better with their fellow pupils, so you can supervise revision times in your home with two or more pupils. This will also give you an opportunity to chat to their friends about cheating and how it is wrong.
•    Don’t threaten your child or give them ultimatums when it comes to exams, but rather ensure preparation takes place. Not all kids are academically inclined, so your support will help to relive the pressure. This, in turn, helps your child not to feel that the only option left in order to keep you happy as a parent is to cheat during exams.
•    If your child has a genuine learning problem, seek out help in whatever area it is from an educational professional or counsellor.
•    Watch your child closely for depression related to academic results and do encourage your child at all times, setting realistic goals.

Own those achievements

Cheating is a choice: your child can be taught that it is unacceptable and ultimately destructive, and, with supportive care, you can aid your child in attaining the best possible results according to their ability. If their achievements come from their own hard work rather than from illicit means, they will be far more confident in their approach to life.

Does your child know that cheating is wrong?

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