Drone is lat­est weapon against cheat­ing in main­land ex­ams

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

The lat­est weapon in the fight against cheat­ing on main­land China’s all-im­por­tant col­lege en­trance exam is a six-pro­pel­ler drone.

The con­trap­tion flew over two testing cen­ters in Luoyang city in cen­tral China’s He­nan prov­ince to scan for any un­usual sig­nals be­ing sent to de­vices smug­gled by stu­dents tak­ing the an­nual test. No such sig­nals were de­tected Sun­day, the first day of the exam, a He­nan prov­ince news web­site said.

The drone cost hun­dreds of thou­sands of yuan (tens of thou­sands of U.S. dol­lars) and is as big as a gas sta­tion pump when ex­tended, said Lan Zhi­gang, from Luoyang’s Ra­dio Su­per­vi­sion and Reg­u­la­tion Bureau.

“A drone has its ad­van­tages. In an ur­ban area full of tall build­ings, var­i­ous bar­ri­ers limit the op­er­at­ing range of de­vices on ground, while the drone can rise up to 500 me­ters and de­tect sig­nals over the whole city,” Lan said.

Al­most all main­land high school grad­u­ates must take the test — more than 9 mil­lion stu­dents started it Sun­day — and the scores are the key cri­te­rion for which tier of uni­ver­sity they can en­ter.

Pres­sure is im­mense and many stu­dents spend months cram­ming. Par­ents travel to the cities where the tests are given to stay with their chil­dren dur­ing the exam, which can last two or three days. Those who fail can re­peat a year or try to find a low-pay­ing, bluecol­lar job.

Cheat­ing is com­mon given the high stakes, and meth­ods in­clude sell­ing sup­posed an­swers, hir­ing sur­ro­gate test-tak­ers and us­ing wire­less equip­ment to com­mu­ni­cate dur­ing the test.

The Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry said Satur­day that it had ar­rested 23 peo­ple since late May over at­tempts to ar­range cheat­ing. Stu­dents caught cheat­ing can be barred from tak­ing the test for up to three years.

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