Right to cheat?

June 23, 2013

Attempts to stop students in China cheating in their exams led to a riot:

. . .When students at the No. 3 high school in Zhongxiang arrived to sit their exams earlier this month, they were dismayed to find they would be supervised not by their own teachers, but by 54 external invigilators randomly drafted in from different schools across the county.

The invigilators wasted no time in using metal detectors to relieve students of their mobile phones and secret transmitters, some of them designed to look like pencil erasers.

A special team of female invigilators was on hand to intimately search female examinees, according to the Southern Weekend newspaper.

Outside the school, meanwhile, a squad of officials patrolled the area to catch people transmitting answers to the examinees. At least two groups were caught trying to communicate with students from a hotel opposite the school gates.

For the students, and for their assembled parents waiting outside the school gates to pick them up afterwards, the new rules were an infringement too far.

As soon as the exams finished, a mob swarmed into the school in protest.

“I picked up my son at midday [from his exam]. He started crying. I asked him what was up and he said a teacher had frisked his body and taken his mobile phone from his underwear. I was furious and I asked him if he could identify the teacher. I said we should go back and find him,” one of the protesting fathers, named as Mr Yin, said to the police later. . .

. . . According to the protesters, cheating is endemic in China, so being forced to sit the exams without help put their children at a disadvantage. . .

I don’t think we’re in danger of riots over measures to prevent cheating here.

I’d be very surprised if it was this rife but I couldn’t be confident that there is none.

If people think they have the right to cheat they must think it’s right to cheat.

If they cheat at one thing, how can you trust them not to cheat in another?

Hat tip: Kiwi In Canberra


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