Ghostwriters profit from piles of homework

As the summer holiday draws to an end, many students may pull all-nighters to finish their homework. Some may be so desperate as to pay others to have their homework done.

As the summer holiday draws to an end, many students may pull all-nighters to finish their homework. Some may be so desperate as to pay others to have their homework done.

 China Central Television reported that hiring ghostwriters to finish holiday homework has become a lucrative online business. Some websites that ply this trade already raked in hundreds of thousands of yuan only halfway through the holiday.

In a CCTV expose, one website boasted about its ability to handle homework of any subject from primary to high school with “good quality.” Each subject charges 50 yuan (US$7), and students can get a discount from group-buying.

Such websites offer a wide range of services, from simply copying the answers, to customizing essays and fabricating social surveys. They can even imitate students’ handwriting.

Holiday homework is supposed to help students review what they have learned and prep them for the new semester. For students, hiring someone else to do your homework is self-deceptive and dishonest. Meanwhile, the burgeoning online ghostwriting services may result from onerous school assignments students have to deal with during holiday. Coming off a busy semester, students deserve to recharge, read for pleasure, satisfy personal interests or simply enjoy the holiday. Wearing them out with piles of schoolwork seems to do more harm than good

To stem the rise of ghostwriting services that fosters dishonesty, perhaps schools have a role to play. They may consider reducing the amount of homework during holidays, and homework can be made more diverse and entertaining. For instance, recommending books to read and organizing hands-on activities like arts and craft not only enrich the holiday but also give students something to share on their return to school.

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