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Cheating in education increases as online college degrees in America grows.

The growth of online education has created more opportunities for American learners to get help with their school assignments, leading to establishing a million-dollar cheating industry based in Kenya, Africa. Many penniless young people in Kenya spend a considerable amount of money on their education and end up in difficult situations of joblessness after finishing their studies. Searching for a way of sustaining themselves after school, they start the business of assisting American students in cheating.

A young man in Kenya who works in this cheating business told CBC news and requested that his identity not be revealed in the report “you can’t steal; you have to look for something to do for yourself.” There are U.S websites that ‘Frank’ pays to get writing accounts to access student’s schoolwork and then outsources the work to other Kenyan writers. He said that he earns over $2,000 per month, although he is ashamed of working in the industry. “It’s not really something you should be proud about, telling people that you help students cheat,” he stated.

How the business works

Well-known U. S. websites such as Essay JedII have legalized services like academic help, research, or coaching. Some students use these websites to reach Kenyan writers who they hire to do college assignments for them throughout their course. American students pay $20-$50 per page of assignments done by Kenyan writers. Writers with accounts like ‘Frank’ get a 75% of the amount and then outsource some of the tasks to other writers who earn $5 per page.

This process is referred to as contract cheating and is prohibited in 17 states, although it is legal at the federal level, and execution rarely happens. The Department of Education in the U.S. said in a statement that “it is not allowed to control issues concerning curriculum or academic policies of an institution. Policies related to online learning require that federally recognized accrediting agencies have regulations whereby colleges have processes set to establish that any student who enrolls for online learning is the same student who should complete the entire course. These processes assist institutions in identifying cases of academic cheating.”

Essay JedII said they were “unpleasantly shocked” to hear their website could be used for dishonesty and pledged to improve their verification processes. “Any services delivered are taken as research services or original samples and should not be considered as completed assignments for submission. However, it is impossible to control or limit its further usage as the students own the copyright,” they stated.

Frank says he has completed degrees for some of his clients. “I did one student’s degree, and now I’m helping in masters; he also promised me that I would be doing his Ph.D.,” he said. Another writer who also requested that her name should not be mentioned got onto the cheating business when he could not get employed after completing school. She said she has been assisting U. S. students in their whole courses in a variety of subjects.

The two writers say they have made American students participate in cheating in everything from U. S. history to engineering- even in medicine. They say they receive requests from small online colleges to major state universities. Frank said they got the knowledge and experience, and the American students just have the name.

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