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Never Copy Never Learn

Updated on September 25, 2015
Dr Vishal Varia profile image

Dr. Varia, is a Ph.D. in Education, working as Mg. Director for Rosary School Rajkot. He is an educationist with commitment to his field.

Never Copy Never Learn Always Copy Always Fail Copy… Inspire… Succeed

Never Copy Never Learn Always Copy Always Fail Copy… Inspire… Succeed

Well!!! This is not a proverb but a formula that was generated when I was taking a motivational lecture of class 12 students before their Preliminary exams. It so happened that I was required to take a motivational lecture in the said class to inspire them to write well and to attempt to the best of their knowledge. While interrogating with them over the memorizing and writing skills one of the reply I got was that to look into neighbors paper in case you forget something, but what if the answer given by the neighbor is not correct. This is how the above stanza came to the mind and I convinced them to get the inspiration but not to copy.

Let us understand the above stanza line by line.

è Never Copy Never Learn:

Have you ever wondered how we learnt to speak, to walk, to write, to run and many such basic skills of life? It would not have been possible to learn those skills if we hadn’t copied others. Every now and then we tend to copy things, art, skills and attitude from others. We are always influenced by our peers, elders, seniors, etc. in their walk and talk method that we accept and carry forward in our walk and talk system. Isn’t this copy? Well if we call this copying from others than this is one of the essential ingredients for personality development.

Similarly, as students we are also influenced by other students’ method of writing, holding pen or pencil, the way they use books or paper, the answer they write and the achievement that they score in the tests. This all makes it imperative to copy such students and try to be like them. But our educators, teachers, faculties, etc. always reprimand us for copying others. The student is often scolded for copying from others paper or books, especially in exams. Just imagine the same student would not have learnt the concept or method if that student had not copied it from somewhere.

The concept is can we learn if we don’t copy? How does learning happen? How can we understand the complexities of subjects or subject matter if we don’t copy? And so the first line of the stanza comes that “never copy never learn”. As an educator, one must not object if the student copies from others rather take it as a positive note that the student wants to learn from others. As an educator, rather than objecting the concept of copying teach the students what to copy. Copying others is not a negative trait; it is a trait that is in existence far beyond our imagination in the history of mankind. Just imagine we would not have learnt ourselves if we had not learnt the art of copying.

è Always Copy Always Fail:

Copying as mentioned in the earlier stanza isn’t a negative trait, but to an extent. One cannot succeed in life if copying is the only skill that is possessed. There are many reasons why one should not merely copy. Firstly, one cannot copy to 100% of others traits or methods as there are many things that can be observed but cannot be represented. Secondly, if one succeeds to observe carefully all the skills and material then also one cannot repeat it due one’s own limitation. Thirdly, a skill copied, can many times be easily traced and therefore goes unnoticed or unrecognized. At times even if it is recognized then it will have its own negative effects.

If one goes on copying all the time then he/she confines to copying and cannot be creative. So far as students are concerned if copying from others does not instigate their learning habits then it can prove to be detrimental. One cannot copy from others all the time. It can be easily be caught and dealt severely. Always copying from others is a negative trait that should be discouraged. One should be motivated to use one’s own skills and logic instead of copying.

è Copy… Inspire… Succeed:

Copying is a negative trait but only if one stops to that step. If one goes beyond the step of copying and catches the inspiration than copying ceases to be a negative trait. If one gets the inspiration by mere observation than it is desirable and makes teachers task easy. The tutors should have an open mind to the copying of the students i.e. the tutors should motivate students not to limit them merely by act of copying but should take the inspiration and dare to do innovative task.

If a merely glimpse in the exam hall from the neighbours paper strikes the memory and one recalls the entire answer then according to me it is a tolerable sin. One should not be punished merely just because he was observing others paper. The teacher should play a just role in this. They should be mature enough to decide that whether it was the act of copying or an act through which the student took inspiration. Naturally, the latter is tolerable.

I would rather suggest all the teachers that allow the students to copy, if that is what is going to increase their productivity. But do make them understand the art of copying and what should be copied and what not should be copied. Make them realize that “Nakal me bhi Akal chahiye”.

I conclude my this article with a SMS that I received, it said something like this, “On receiving the award for being best student and scoring best result, when he was asked to deliver a speech, he said that I would firstly like to thank ‘Copy & Paste’ and then ‘Google’…. For making my effort a success.”

Likewise, copying will be a necessary skill in the 21st century.


Dr. Vishal Varia

Tweet: @DrVishalVaria


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