There are rising concerns on the increasing number of illegal online transactions that seek substitutes for class attendance or exams. Kim who wished to remain anonymous is among those who agreed to attend a class in exchange for money.
The transaction was made online and Kim attended three classes, receiving 35,000 won per class. Kim says 35,000 won was actually “a good bargain.”
“Even though many students realize that what they are doing is illegal, they cannot help themselves but compromise to get decent grades,” Kim said.
Students deliberately post notices on the Ewha Portal Information System (EPIS) looking for substitutes and offer payment based on the number of classes. Some even attach their phone number or email address.
“I saw a posting last month on the EPIS. The writer greatly emphasized the amount of money she was willing to pay. The notice got deleted by the staff that runs the site but I saw comments that considered accepting the proposal,” said a student who wished to stay anonymous.
“Though this kind of illegal notice on the Web site did not receive much attention at the time of the initial posting, it eventually went on to gain considerable attention, popularizing the issue of illegal attendance of classes and exams,” said a staff member of the Office of Student Affairs who asked for anonymity.
One solution is the electronic attendance tracking system.
The system was introduced to universities in 2000, and Ewha started to operate it in 25 classrooms since 2005. There are electronic tracking systems set up in 10 classrooms in the Asan Engineering Building, five in Hak-gwan and three in the Ewha-POSCO Building, where students must identify themselves with student ID cards.
Currently, 12 major universities nationwide including Ewha are taking advantage of the system. At the University of Incheon, students even go through a fingerprint recognizer before class to confirm their attendance.
“Although universities are keeping strict watch on these illegal acts, it is impossible to keep track of every student. Therefore, the best policy and stepping stone is for every student to cope with the situation with a good conscience,” Professor Yang-yoon (Psychology) said.