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  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
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Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« on: November 18, 2013, 08:10:11 am »
So this mom and apparently others see no moral problem with:

1. Doing their child's homework for them and passing it off as the kid's work.

2. Now sinking even lower and paying someone to do her dastardly deed?

 :shocked: :shocked:

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2980593&cloc=joongangdaily|home|newslist1


Lee, like many women in Korea, is an overly-involved mother. The 41-year-old considers her son’s school assignments her business. Homework scores factor into overall academic performance, along with the college entrance exam, when universities select their students.

So if something might affect her son’s chances of getting into a good school, Lee - who only gave her surname - leaves nothing to chance.

But one assignment in particular tested her resolve. Her son’s art teacher had asked the class to make a unique work using hanji, traditional handmade paper made from the bark of indigenous mulberry trees.

It was unfamiliar territory for Lee. So she searched her mind, trying to come up with a solution. Suddenly, she recalled an advertisement she had seen recently, which read, “We do art homework for customers.”

She immediately found the business online and filled her address in on its website, along with the specifics of the assignment and the deadline. The agency charged 30,000 won ($28), and Lee received the finished assignment two days after sending the fees.

“My son still thinks that I did the homework,” she admitted. “I wanted to, but I’m so busy with household affairs and overseeing my son’s studies.”

These days, many parents like Lee are losing confidence in typical hagwon - cram schools that prepare students for college entrance exams - and believe they are no longer enough to turn their children into top performers. And their drive to see their children succeed is where so-called homework agencies have found a new niche. There are a total of 40 websites like the one Lee found. And these agencies, while still not as prevalent as hagwon, are gaining momentum among busy mothers and stressed out students, charging clients between 20,000 won and 70,000 won per assignment.

Many of the agencies specialize in subjects not typically covered in private academies. The most common services are for fine arts projects, which are generally more time consuming.

Most parents believe time spent working on these types of projects takes away from the time their child could be using to study for exam-centered subjects, like English and math.

But even though these businesses compromise the ethical standards of the public education system, the Ministry of Education has done little to rein in the agencies, citing a lack of legal regulation for such entities. “There are rules for hagwon, but we don’t have any specific guidelines to regulate [these homework agencies],” said one Ministry of Education official, who requested to remain anonymous.

But those in education circles say these informal entities are problematic, and that there is a pressing need to punish these businesses and the parents looking for assistance.

“The Education Ministry needs to come up with ways to implement a new set of rules that warrants punishment,” said Kim Moo-seong, a representative of the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations. “This issue needs to be addressed. It is seriously jeopardizing public education.”
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 08:20:51 am »
Holy s**t, a new low in an already wretched race to the bottom. This is what comes from an "ends justify the means" attitude toward "education".


  • btpham13
  • Expert Waygook

    • 509

    • February 28, 2011, 11:02:04 am
    • Korea
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 08:25:30 am »
Quote
These days, many parents like Lee are losing confidence in typical hagwon - cram schools that prepare students for college entrance exams - and believe they are no longer enough to turn their children into top performers.

First, the parents lost confidence in the public schools.  This lead to the booming hagwon industry.

Now, the parents are losing confidence in hagwons, leading to this new niche of homework for costumers. 

Eventually, they'll lose confidence in this homework for costumers thing, and maybe, just MAYBE, they'll resort to having to teach their own kids and actually raise the kids themselves instead of just relying on others and paying for someone else to give their kids attention.

And MAYBE the parents will start to take some responsibility for the actions of their kids instead of just blaming it on teachers. 

Or maybe I'm just living in a fantasy world.


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
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Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 08:34:17 am »
Love the bit about pointing fingers at the government only, not a word about cheating parents and kids. :shocked: :shocked: :shocked:
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1768

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 08:51:48 am »
This doesn't surprise me in the least.  Like everything else here, it's all for appearances and the ends justify the means.  If you've seen a test here, you know how they conduct their "education".

Yeah, ok, Korean kids have more homework than I did when I was a kid.  But mine involved actual thinking and doing things, not just copying out answers from a book.  And if I didn't do mine I, you know, failed.  Not got some candy, patted on the head and told to try again. 


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2465

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2013, 09:00:58 am »
Quote
“My son still thinks that I did the homework,” she admitted. “I wanted to, but I’m so busy with household affairs and overseeing my son’s studies.”

TRANSLATION: "I am too busy managing my son's homework that I have no time to actually do it for him."

Wow, this is what got to me more than anything else in that terrible article. The implications of this statement are mind blowing.

1: The mother is doing her son's homework.

2: There is too much homework for the son (I assume).

3: There is too much homework for the son and mother to do as a team.

4: The management of homework itself takes an unusually long time. There is no need to say that one is busy managing a child's education if the actual management of the education isn't time consuming and difficult.

5: Overseeing a child's studies means that you do homework for them, as stated in the article. This with number four would imply that the study is so difficult for her son that she regularly does her son's homework. She is implying that she does this on a regular basis.

6: As she does her son's homework, she is cheating the system, so that the standards every year will increase and the other student's parents will have to do their homework as well.

7: Continuing and then reflecting back on this quote, one sees that a single art project is worth 30,000won to her. I would assume again, that the teacher wanted the student to do the art project for the student to have an opportunity to work with traditional Korean paper, hanji, and to try and do something creative, something the woman's son probably never had the chance to do.

8: Because of the difficulty of creating an art project, one has to call someone else to do it. That right there is not only a failure of the parent, but of the education system as well.

9: I didn't mention it yet, but she is not only paying for an agency to do her son's homework, but she is also lying to her son.

10: There is no guilt or shame in it. There is no guilt or shame in paying an agency 30,000won to have their child's homework done for them. There is no guilt or shame in doing her child's homework. There is no guilt or shame in lying to her child about doing his homework for him.

I am just blown away at this thinking. One step forward, and ten steps backwards.


  • nimrand
  • Super Waygook

    • 489

    • April 07, 2013, 07:40:28 am
    • Lawrence, KS
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2013, 09:04:53 am »
Or, maybe, just maybe, parents will lose faith in a system that puts far too much emphasis on a test that tests one's ability to prepare for a test more than it does the ability to actually use the skills being tested (e.g., communicating in English).  But, that might just be my pipe dream.

While it would be nice if the Ministry of Education could "regulate" agencies like these (i.e., make them not exist), what about setting a strict "no cheating" policy and punishing kids who pass off other's work as their own?  Teaching students to take responsibility for THEIR actions seems like a pretty important lesson to me.


Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2013, 09:43:46 am »
Or, maybe, just maybe, parents will lose faith in a system that puts far too much emphasis on a test that tests one's ability to prepare for a test more than it does the ability to actually use the skills being tested (e.g., communicating in English).  But, that might just be my pipe dream.

While it would be nice if the Ministry of Education could "regulate" agencies like these (i.e., make them not exist), what about setting a strict "no cheating" policy and punishing kids who pass off other's work as their own?  Teaching students to take responsibility for THEIR actions seems like a pretty important lesson to me.

Its hard to crack down on if the government doesn't make it illegal. My uni had really draconian anti-cheating policies but right outside the lecture halls were flyers for services to have your essays written for you.


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1768

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2013, 10:08:01 am »
2: There is too much homework for the son (I assume).

Meh, I bet there's "too much" homework for her son like my CT has "too much" work here.  Yet when I take over it's done in an hour.  I don't doubt that Korean students, in general, have a lot of homework.  But Koreans are also very good at complaining about their workload, passing on that workload to others, and appearing to be much, much more busy than that workload would entail.  Don't forget kids here, including teens, don't have PT jobs, chores or many activities outside the house/school (again, in general).  So, yeah, I would agree through my observations that Korean kids have more homework to do, but they have almost zero other responsibilities besides that.  When I was a teen I had a job (20+ hr/wk), had to cook for myself for the most part, had other household chores like dishes and yard work, and did some extra-curricular activities.  And that wasn't unusual in my town. 

I feel sorry for Korean kids because they don't get those other experiences, making a very boring and monotomous life.  But I don't really feel bad about the workload.  Oh, they come home from hogwan at 10pm?  Try coming home from work (where you can't just sleep and have people make excuses for you) at 1am and showing up to school (where you can't just sleep and have people make excuses for you).


Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2013, 10:12:56 am »
So, you do realize cheating is rampant in educational systems everywhere? You must not know any college professors/adjuncts, but people turning in work that's not theirs, particularly when it's papers/essays, is a huge problem.

I think we are all aware that cheating is as problem everywhere.  The key difference is that, generally in our home countries, it is seen as something shameful.  Here it is accepted as normal and acceptable.  When we read about a mother not only doing her sons homework, but paying someone else to do it most of us say "that's horrible."  I feel like most of the Korean parents who read that would say "What's the number for the nearest homework agency?"  Yes, cheating is a problem everywhere.  But this is a culture that seems to encourage it.  It is socially acceptable and somewhat expected, which is a big problem. 
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 10:14:52 am by new-waygook »


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
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Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2013, 11:20:25 am »
So, you do realize cheating is rampant in educational systems everywhere? You must not know any college professors/adjuncts, but people turning in work that's not theirs, particularly when it's papers/essays, is a huge problem.

This cheating scandal happened at Harvard last year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Harvard_cheating_scandal

And this happened in New York the year before: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/education/on-long-island-sat-cheating-was-hardly-a-secret.html?_r=0

It's funny to think people are surprised by this. We live in an age where it's no big deal to pirate copyrighted material, and everyone has a list of reasons/excuses for doing so.

If schools wanted to make sure kids did the work, they'd have them do it parts at a time in order to better asses the project's growth, and since everyone has a camera, ask for photo/video documentation. Even this isn't full proof, but it makes cheating a little more difficult. Simply assigning something one day, and then weeks later expecting it to be turned in, is an old fashioned and outdated method of teaching.

Man, I was just waiting for someone to come along and say......... but you know it is the same everywhere.

We are not talking about other countries and as has been correctly pointed out, it is socially acceptable here, not in other countries (if you really must go down that road)
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 11:53:39 am »
This makes sense from a "forced retirement at 55 and the job your kid has dictates exactly what kind of retirement you'll have" perspective.  If your kid doesn't get into a good university and ends up working at E-mart forever, you're going to be one of those grandparents whose sole income is lugging around a cart filled with cardboard.

If my kid was the only factor in determining whether I'm homeless at 60 or comfortably retired, I'd be helping with his homework, too.  And in a society where the "kid factor" is determined by one test and only one test, I'd be cutting everything out of its life that wasn't geared directly at acing (not passing) that test.

Without a robust social safety net, there are two ways to prepare for your retirement.  A:  have kids and invest in them.  Or B: Don't have kids, work hard, and save money for your retirement.  This is what we see in Korea. 


Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 12:33:37 pm »
So, you do realize cheating is rampant in educational systems everywhere? You must not know any college professors/adjuncts, but people turning in work that's not theirs, particularly when it's papers/essays, is a huge problem.

This cheating scandal happened at Harvard last year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Harvard_cheating_scandal

And this happened in New York the year before: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/education/on-long-island-sat-cheating-was-hardly-a-secret.html?_r=0

It's funny to think people are surprised by this. We live in an age where it's no big deal to pirate copyrighted material, and everyone has a list of reasons/excuses for doing so.

If schools wanted to make sure kids did the work, they'd have them do it parts at a time in order to better asses the project's growth, and since everyone has a camera, ask for photo/video documentation. Even this isn't full proof, but it makes cheating a little more difficult. Simply assigning something one day, and then weeks later expecting it to be turned in, is an old fashioned and outdated method of teaching.

Man, I was just waiting for someone to come along and say......... but you know it is the same everywhere.

We are not talking about other countries and as has been correctly pointed out, it is socially acceptable here, not in other countries (if you really must go down that road)

I wouldn't say it's exactly stigmatized. From my experience it was basically left up to someone's personal honour as to whether they did it or not and it was rare for people to be outed for it unless it was because it threatened bystanders (ie, someone was copying your or your friends' stuff and didn't want to be dragged down if they got caught). That said, Korea really is taking an unpleasant and unavoidable problem and streamlining to almost comical proportions. I know I would be deeply ashamed to be any part of the equation in such a parasitic business model.


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
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Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2013, 02:32:01 pm »
Quote
We are not talking about other countries and as has been correctly pointed out, it is socially acceptable here, not in other countries (if you really must go down that road)

Looking at the other and seeing their flaws as so much worse than your own is inherent in prejudice and racism. You have as much proof that cheating is frowned upon in the Sates as you do that it's not frowned upon in Korea. However, since Koreans are "the other", of course they're so much worse.

And as most NETs are white, I'm not sure how you don't realize how bad the optics of constantly demonizing Korean culture is while claiming yours to be so superior by default. Europeans previously went into "the savage lands" to tame all the coloured people of the globe, and it seems like they're still at it.

What I will admit is that people from the States will probably say to your face that cheating is wrong, even as they go right on and cheat if it gets them ahead.

Or to employ a cliche, your sh*t smells just as bad as everyone else's. But then, I know how good it makes many people here to look down and judge the uncivilized Asians from up high on their ivory towers.


I will just re-quote what I said.

We are not talking about other countries and as has been correctly pointed out, it is socially acceptable here, not in other countries (if you really must go down that road)


Oh, the old race card.... so sick of it. No one said Asians are uncivilised, that is a figment of your imagination.

I will say it again..... It is SOCIALLY acceptable here, it is not in other countries.

Interestingly, I had a conversation with my Korean adult class about the time that whole Apple/Samsung case was being fought. I asked them as to their opinion whether Samsung copied Apple (adopting a neutral stance), they all without hesitation said, "of course they copied Apple, that is the way we do things here in Korea, we look at others ideas, we copy and improve it."

I then asked them about the moral side, they said they had no problem with it at all as it was necessary for Korea to do this in order to get where they are today and they could see it continuing in the future.

This was from a group of highly educated and well travelled Koreans.

If you want further proof as to the copying nature of the locals, just have a look at their cars. They wait a year or two after a model has been produced in the West and even Japan and behold a replica appears under the label of Kia or Hyundai.

I rest my case.

There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2013, 02:34:31 pm »
I don't see what the problem is either.

If you cheat on your work and everyone thinks it's your own work or they DO know and nobody does anything about it, then why wouldn't you deserve the credit?

Eventually, it'll all fall through for them. She can't do EVERYTHING for him. After she gets him into a university, then what? Is she going to do finish his degree for him, too? And when he graduates? Will she do his job for him as well?
But I'm not a marine biologist....


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu County, Taiwan (not part of China)
    more
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2013, 02:44:07 pm »
I don't see what the problem is either.

If you cheat on your work and everyone thinks it's your own work or they DO know and nobody does anything about it, then why wouldn't you deserve the credit?

Eventually, it'll all fall through for them. She can't do EVERYTHING for him. After she gets him into a university, then what? Is she going to do finish his degree for him, too? And when he graduates? Will she do his job for him as well?

Run that one by me again. So it is ok to get credit for something you stole as long as they don't know or they know and do nothing about it?

In other words it is ok to do something illegal as long as you don't caught.

Moral bankruptcy.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1768

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2013, 02:50:04 pm »
Quote
We are not talking about other countries and as has been correctly pointed out, it is socially acceptable here, not in other countries (if you really must go down that road)

Looking at the other and seeing their flaws as so much worse than your own is inherent in prejudice and racism. You have as much proof that cheating is frowned upon in the Sates as you do that it's not frowned upon in Korea. However, since Koreans are "the other", of course they're so much worse.

And as most NETs are white, I'm not sure how you don't realize how bad the optics of constantly demonizing Korean culture is while claiming yours to be so superior by default. Europeans previously went into "the savage lands" to tame all the coloured people of the globe, and it seems like they're still at it.

What I will admit is that people from the States will probably say to your face that cheating is wrong, even as they go right on and cheat if it gets them ahead.

Or to employ a cliche, your sh*t smells just as bad as everyone else's. But then, I know how good it makes many people here to look down and judge the uncivilized Asians from up high on their ivory towers.

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

You're trolling, right?  That's hilarious. 

If you're not, I'm going to take a shot in the dark.  24-27 years old.  American.  Psychology/Sociology/Anthropology/Philosophy major.  Small university.  Been here 9-15 months. 


  • btpham13
  • Expert Waygook

    • 509

    • February 28, 2011, 11:02:04 am
    • Korea
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2013, 02:52:28 pm »
I don't see what the problem is either.

If you cheat on your work and everyone thinks it's your own work or they DO know and nobody does anything about it, then why wouldn't you deserve the credit?

Eventually, it'll all fall through for them. She can't do EVERYTHING for him. After she gets him into a university, then what? Is she going to do finish his degree for him, too? And when he graduates? Will she do his job for him as well?

The problem is that if she gets her (undeserving) kid into a good university, that's one less spot for another (deserving) student.  And, from what I've been told by other Koreans, it's ALL ABOUT the university one attends.  The university name usually sets them up for the future job and network (more-so than in America).  Granted, that undeserving kid will eventually be discovered and (hopefully) fired, but that one deserving kid didn't even get a chance to get into the university and subsequent future employment aspects.

The actions of the parents and the homework agencies don't shock me.  It's the fact that the cheating seems to pop up quite often, and the government doesn't come down as hard as they should on the offending parties.  I'm sure several American parents and companies would do the same thing as the Korean parents and companies have, but I think the American government would react differently than the Korean government.

This is (kinda) unrelated, but think about the police officers here.  There are traffic laws in place, but not many officers actually enforce them.  This has lead to many Korean drivers ignoring these laws and it causes dangerous driving conditions.  The cops back in America usually enforce the law more often than their Korean counterparts, and as a result, more American drivers obey the law and this leads to  (relatively) safer driving conditions. 

I don't blame the parents or companies for doing what they do.  It's natural to want an advantage.  I blame the government for not punishing the offending parties to dissuade cheating.


  • matthewm12
  • Veteran

    • 123

    • August 31, 2011, 02:41:25 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2013, 02:55:33 pm »
Honestly it's art homework! Is it really necessary that the mother helps her child cheat for an art assignment? Unless the student doesn't follow the assignment guidelines (or the teacher is jerk) I can't imagine a student getting a bad grade in art because of lack of artistic talent.


  • Aqvm
  • Expert Waygook

    • 573

    • March 09, 2012, 06:55:24 am
Re: Homework agencies’ a boon for busy students
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2013, 02:59:32 pm »
Quote
“My son still thinks that I did the homework,” she admitted.”
Hilarious, it's practically an Onion article. She's essentially cheating by having someone else do her work, the same way that her son is cheating by having his mom do his work. All that's left is to hire someone to sleep through class for him and he'll be on-track to Seoul National University in no time!