Drones used to catch exam cheats

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

EX­AMS may seem tough to lo­cal pupils but they are a lot tougher else­where in the world.

The Chi­nese ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­i­ties have gone hi-tech to catch cheaters as mil­lions of high-school pupils take their “gaokao”, the an­nual univer­sity en­trance exam.

So high are the stakes and so com­pet­i­tive is the exam that some pupils re­sort to cheat­ing.

Over the years, pupils have used wire­less cheat­ing de­vices dis­guised as erasers, belts and watches.

Some of them have also used tiny ear­pieces to com­mu­ni­cate with ac­com­plices help­ing them from out­side the exam room.

The in­no­va­tions have forced au­thor­i­ties to step up their game in re­sponse.

This year, exam cen­tres have de­ployed metal de­tec­tors, fa­cial and fin­ger­print recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy, cell­phone-sig­nal block­ers, wire­less de­tec­tors and even drones in their fight to root out cheat­ing, me­dia re­ported.

Even be­fore the exam got un­der way in earnest on Tues­day, se­cu­rity of­fi­cers had ar­rested 52 peo­ple na­tion­wide.

Cheaters and their ac­com­plices face up to seven years in jail.

Uni­ver­si­ties in Shan­dong prov­ince banned pupils from tak­ing leave on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, to pre­vent any of them from pos­ing as real exam tak­ers, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua news agency said this week.

Cheat­ing is more com­mon for pa­pers that in­clude mul­ti­ple choice ques­tions such as maths and English.

Some pa­pers, how­ever, such as es­say-writ­ing, con­found the cheats.

Es­say-writ­ing is an im­por­tant sec­tion of the Chi­nese pa­per, and top­ics vary from prov­ince to prov­ince.

In Bei­jing, pupils have been asked to write about ei­ther their vi­sion of China in 2049, the cen­ten­nial of the foun­da­tion of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, or about re­la­tion­ships.

Pupils in nine prov­inces were told to in­tro­duce China to for­eign­ers us­ing key words like “Belt and Road ini­tia­tive”, “bike-shar­ing”, “high-speed rail­way” or “mo­bile pay­ment”, in a test of their knowl­edge of eco­nomic trends.

The prov­ince of Jiangsu, no­to­ri­ous for set­ting tough ex­ams, wanted pupils to ex­pound on ve­hi­cles, while neigh­bour­ing Zhe­jiang prov­ince has de­manded 800-word es­says on books. – Reuters

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