Sunday, June 01, 2008

Lying, Cheating, Intimidation and Corruption, A Way of Life in Oman

I found this interesting little personal log of an infidel living in civilized Oman. He has some interesting stories to tell. Here are some.

Last semester, the Foundation Year students seemed to be passing on test info to friends in other classes that took the same weekly tests later in the week. One teacher decided to prove the point and make them learn something. So, she arranged the same questions in a different order. (The students only memorized the answers such as: A, C, D, B...) Well, the entire class got a zero! The students went to the dean and complained that the teacher "had tricked them". The teacher was told to be fair and give them another test!

A student was caught red-handed with answers on his desk for my quiz on negative prefixes. He was asked to sit in the back of the room and write a one-page explanation of why cheating is WRONG and this is what he wrote:

Students in my class wrote an essay which just happened to have the EXACT SAME conclusion (all 9 sentences exact!) and one of the students insisted (and still insists) that it must be "coincidence". He swears ("WA ALLAH!) that NO ONE in his culture cheats or copies!! Amazing! Not one Omani EVER tells a lie!! A literal paradise on earth it seems!

A teacher invigilating an exam noticed a student cheating and asked him to present the thing he was hiding in his pocket. The student ignored him and even grabbed his hand which is a big no-no in this culture. The student then walked out, blatantly disrespecting the teacher. As the student proudly walked away, the teacher communicated that he would get a zero by ripping the paper in two. The student was NOT given a zero at all. Instead, the teacher was made to attend a "disciplinary meeting" in order to explain himself. I was there. He answered all accusations and explained his reasoning well and it was determined in the meeting that instructions in the case of cheating were NOT given to new teachers. Final result: serious letter of warning to the teacher in question and absolute nothing done to the student. WHAT exactly do you think they are teaching students in this case?!

He was told by colleague that worked in and around the Arab world (some are both Muslim AND Arab) tell me that lying and corruption are all a daily occurrence here.

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  • WC:

    This is a very interesting story. These things do go on. I have seen such things with my very own eyes when I worked in the Middle East. Further, it doesn't surprise me one little bit that the teacher had to attend a "disciplinary meeting". That teacher was an infidel, wasn't he? In the Arab world, Muslim students have power over their infidel teachers. A lot of power, too.

    By Blogger Mark, at 6:59 AM  

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