Fri, Jun 22, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Algeria goes offline to stop students cheating on exams


Algeria on Wednesday went offline for the start of high-school diploma exams, the first in a series of Internet blackouts to stop students cheating.

Mobile and fixed Internet lines were cut across the nation for a total of two hours to coincide with the start of two separate school exams, journalists in Algiers said.

A third hour-long Internet shutdown was scheduled for later Wednesday, according to a schedule issued by public operator Algerie Telecom.

Internet services were cut “in compliance with instructions from the government, aimed at ensuring the high school diploma tests run smoothly,” Algerie Telecom said.

The planned blackouts are due to continue for the whole period of the exams, until Monday, to combat cheating among more than 700,000 students.

The 2016 exam season was marred by widespread cheating, with exam questions published on social media before the start of the tests.

Last year, authorities requested operators shut down access to social media, but the move did not entirely end the problem.

Metal detectors have been set up at the entrance to the centers, Algerian Minister of National Education Nouria Benghabrit said.

In a further move to prevent questions being leaked, the minister said phone jammers and surveillance cameras had been installed in locations where the exam papers were printed.

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