The past year I’ve worked as a tutor and administrator for the Business Ethics module, a subject that falls under the Philosophy department. It is a core (or compulsory) module for second year business students, and introduces them to concepts such as: Utilitarianism, Aristotle’s virtue ethics and Deontology. Students are also required to appropriate the theories they study to relevant case studies and contextual scenarios.

Students despise it. I mean, they really hate this subject, they are as stubborn as hell about doing the reading and completing assignments. Some have repeated the module up to seven times. The experience has been quite different from last year when I tutored first year Philosophy. However, in all fairness, business students didn’t sign up to write essays. They have an entire different set of priorities compared to humanities students. This said, I never expected their lack of basic reading and writing skills, not to mention their critical thinking abilities. I blame our school system. It might sound cliché but our schools are experiencing a very real crisis when a fourth year engineering student can’t spell “university” or even copy it off the exam paper.

Here are some of the less depressing and more humorous blunders I’ve come across in my BPE marking adventures:
(Keep in mind these are mistakes made by, at the youngest, 20-year-old students)

“A business needs ethics and ethics need a business.”

“Events resulted in a historic circumstances.”

“We have to fight for our tights.”

“South Africa has a history from the 1970’s and 1980’s.”

“People come from different backgrounds and upholds.”

“Directors are human! And man’s biggest enemy is self.”

“Codes are principles which directors can use in their strife.”

“A company must be driven towards long lasting sustainability, keeping environmental and social importance in the eye.”

“Prospective responsibility is when a positive outcome has resulted from a future event.”

“The effect to have companies to be transparent.”

“We must all be virtually ethical.”

“…to fulfil their pockets.”

“measureminds” (measurements)

“diversy” (diversity)