Algeria goes offline for school exam to tackle cheating

Algeria blocks internet in an attempt to prevent cheating in high school exams

Predictably, cheating in school has advanced with time.

North African nation of Algeria on Wednesday witnessed a two-hour long digital blackout as the country went offline in a bid to curb cheating during the high school exams.

Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit told Algerian newspaper Annahar that Facebook would be blocked across the country throughout the entire period from 20-25 June. Benghabrit added that, while the measure was not optimal, "We should not passively stand in front of such a possible leak".

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Internet access, including my phone will be switched off one hour after the beginning of each final examination in secondary schools until June 25.

It follows a major leakage of exams question paper in 2016 which occurred online.

Furthermore, electronic devices with the ability to access the internet are banned for both students and school staff from all 2,000 exam halls, and surveillance cameras as well as mobile phone jammers have been installed at exam printing presses. SMEX is an organisation advocating for a free and open internet in the Arab world. To tackle cheating, they turned off its internet service nationwide.

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The policy is mainly to prevent students and other officials from leaking the exams questions. While it will certainly make it more hard, kids are creative, and have gone to elaborate and impressive measures to cheat the system.

Elsewhere, authorities in China have even deployed drone technology to prevent exam cheating. That strategy seems laughable now.

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