Can a human being be a holder of Master’s degree or even PhD? How it’s possible? I believe it is impossible! I still don’t understand what Postgraduate schools offer? My biggest goal I ever set in my school days was to become Master or PhD holder. I used to say that successful people are relentless goal setters who never give up. I worked hard and I hoped my dream would come true one day. But that dream suddenly came to an end.
It was two years ago and I was junior Art student at a university in Somalia. At that time we were taking Research Methodology course. Our lecturer ordered us to write research proposal as groups. Each contained two-three students since the number of students was more and the time was very limited. My group selected me the group leader. All groups started to pick up some topics and show the teacher; we also did. After amendment, he told us to do the proposal. He assigned the deadline and promised supervision. The work was immediately started.
Every group wanted to surpass others. Also there was a fierce competition between the fast students. All groups, except ours, just downloaded written proposals, renamed and submitted. My colleagues suggested doing the same, but I opposed and told them that cheating would never give us anything. Then we took the title approved by the teacher, wrote research objectives, questions, literature review, questionnaires and whatever we could to avoid cheating and test our ability. We took our work to be supervised by the lecturer before the deadline many times, but we never saw him. “He is busy. He went to city X. He doesn’t work at this time, come back tomorrow.” Those were the answers when we tried to meet him in his office. Lastly we submitted our original work. Because of lack of supervision, it became quite shallow but meaningful.
One day, one of my classmates told me that the course result had been released. I and the rest of my group were willing that cheaters would earn zero or at least something not good as ours. Personally I thought that I would defeat my rivals for the scholarship of the school. But things went another way. He gave us poor grade while others got 100% or 90%. I shocked and sighed deeply; moreover, the rest of my team yelled at me saying. “Poor leader! Why did you reject to download a written one? Didn’t we give you an advice? Look at our competitors”. I had nothing to say as I was the source of their problem.
I and another student went to the teacher and asked the matter. “You didn’t write good proposal and even you deserved smaller marks. Said the teacher. “Isn’t clear that we wrote own but others copied from outside?” we asked. We had a little more argument. Finally he said, “I don’t care whether it was original. I just graded what is written on the books”. What a disappointment! I asked my friends to forgive me.
Since ever then, when I hear words like research proposal, thesis, report, I see them something impossible to do. I used to dream to be PhD holder but I think I was wrong at that time.Whenever a friend or a family member asks me to go to Post Graduate school, I simply say “there is thesis” because I don’t think I can do.
By Hamza Yassin