Desperate times calls for desperate measures: School comes under fire after making students wear boxes to curb cheating

School comes under fire after making students wear boxes to curb cheating. (Twitter)
  • A school in India has been forced to apologize after coming under fire for ‘making’ its students wear boxes on their heads during exams to curb cheating.
  • The front of the boxes had been cut out, allowing students to see their desks and exam sheets but restricting their vision, similar to blinkers used on a horse
  • 56 students took part in the box experiment, according to school management head M.B. Sateesh.

‘Desperate times calls for desperate measures’ seems to be what a school resorted to after coming to its wits end in its efforts to curb cheating.

A school in India has been forced to apologize after coming under fire for ‘making’ its students wear boxes on their heads during exams to curb cheating.

The Bhagat Pre-University College in Haveri, in India's southwestern Karnataka state, resorted to the drastic measure as part of a trial run to see if it will reduce cases of cheating, according to school management head M.B. Sateesh.

A staff member photographed the students sitting in neat rows, their heads obscured by cardboard boxes. The front of the boxes had been cut out, allowing students to see their desks and exam sheets but restricting their vision, similar to blinkers used on a horse.

The photos were then posted on Facebook by a staff member and quickly went viral, CNN reported.

No sooner had the photos been posted than it garnered widespread criticism with even government officials weighed in.

S. Suresh Kumar, the state education minister, said in a tweet that the school's practice was "unacceptable."

The school has since provided authorities with a written explanation of the trial and an apology, according to the headmaster.

The trial was optional, the school had notified parents in advance -- and only students with parental approval had been involved. Of the 72 students taking midterm exams that day, only 56 took part in the box experiment, he said.

"They said they were comfortable with the trial," Sateesh said. "The college did not harass any student, it was optional and some (students) experimented, some did not."

The students had brought their own boxes to school, and many took them off after 15 to 30 minutes, Sateesh said. The school asked all students to take off the boxes within an hour of the exam.

The school had faced a widespread and persistent cheating problem last year -- leading to new anti-cheating experiments like the boxes, 

India, like most developing countries is faced with limited job opportunities and as such education is highly valued and seen as the gateway out of life misery hence the desperate measure.

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