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by ibgames

EARTHDATE: August 12, 2018

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by Hazed

Students who are taking exams find it a lot easier to cheat these days, what with mobile phones or other devices that connect to the internet and let them look up answers. Teachers have trouble trying to keep up; mobile phones get confiscated but invigilators can never know if a conniving student has a device hidden somewhere.

Authorities in Algeria decided to take drastic action to put a stop to cheating students. They closed down the internet, for the whole country: fixed connections, wifi, 3G, everything.

The shutdowns lasted up to three hours each day that exams were being held, timed to coincide with the baccalaureate exams on six separate days.

It seems a very drastic measure, but apparently the country has a massive problem with cheating. In 2016, questions and answers began to appear on social media before or just after the start of each exam. Thirty-one people were arrested, including several education ministry employees, and the authorities ordered more than 500,000 resits using new question papers.

In 2017, mobile phone jammers were installed in the country’s 2,100 exam centres, and access to social media sites was blocked. Late-comers were also banned from taking the exam.

But still this was not 100% effective in stamping out cheating, so this year some draconian measures were put in place. Not only was the internet turned off, but exam centres were fitted with metal detectors, and teachers and invigilators had to surrender their phones and tables.

Algerian internet users were not happy at the loss of their service during exam times. Presumably the students who found their ability to cheat curtailed were also unhappy!

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/21/algeria-shuts-internet-prevent-cheating-school-exams

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