Writers in Kenya are earning up to R30,000 per month for helping American college students cheat
- "Contract cheating" is a rising phenomenon, with research showing that millions of students across the world had taken part in the practice of paying for completed school work.
- A report by The New York Times explores the essay-for-hire industry that tasks English speakers in developing countries with writing essays for American college students.
- Writers in Kenya are earning as much as R30,000 per month for their services.
- Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.
A report by The New York Times explores the essay-for-hire industry that tasks English speakers in developing countries with writing essays for American college students.
Millions of essays are produced in countries including Kenya, India, and Ukraine every year to be turned in by American college students.
Mary Mbugua, a university student in Nyeri, Kenya, told the Times that she began writing papers for a more solid source of income, though she recognizes it is "cheating."
"This is cheating," she told the Times. "But do you have a choice? We have to make money. We have to make a living."
The report notes that successful essay writers in Kenya can earn as much as $2,000 a month, the equivalent of around R30,000 per month.
However, Mbugua told the Times she "always had somehow a guilty conscience" and questions the quality of education that incorporates the essays.
"People say the education system in the US, UK, and other countries is on a top notch," she said but added that she "wouldn't say those students are better than us," because "we have studied. We have done the assignments."
Contract cheating from essay mills is a growing global phenomenon
Contract cheating has seen a global rise in recent years, and research has suggested that as many as one in six students, or an estimated 31 million, has engaged in the practice.
Business Insider's Hayley Peterson previously reported that the network of companies peddling completed school work has a potentially far greater reach than the recent US college-admissions scandal.
The companies that provide work for purchase are widely referred to as "essay mills." They claim to offer original, "plagiarism-free" essays, term papers, dissertations, speeches, and other assignments for payments of as little as $13 per page.
Lawmakers in the US and globally have recently started cracking down on contract-cheating services as their usage has proliferated. Though the practice is technically illegal in 17 American states, cheating is hard to detect and the law rarely enforced.
Similar legislation has been floated in New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland, but it's unclear how effective the laws can be.
Receive a daily email with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- Scientists have found fossilised baby sea turtle tracks for the first time ever off SA's Cape South Coast – and they're 100,000 years old
- South Africa has new draft rules about hot drinks, and Ricoffy, Frisco, and Koffiehuis are definitely not coffee – not even nearly
- Burger King now serves bacon in South Africa – but dropped ‘ham’ from the names of burgers ‘to be more respectful’ of halaal clients
- South Africans are getting lessons on how to use the toilet at the World Cup in Japan – in Afrikaans
- These round homes have survived every major hurricane in the last 50 years, including Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. Take a look.
- Boris Johnson could soon be forced to resign as prime minister and make way for Jeremy Corbyn