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CCTV to Catch Out Cheating Students

Published: December 4, 2013 (Issue # 1789)

  • Students taking the Unified State Exams.
    Photo: olga_mezenceva / Livejournal

The Unified State Exams will be monitored using video surveillance equipment from 2014 in an effort to stamp out cheating, the Education and Science Minister said Monday.

“The new measures will increase objectivity and transparency in the examination process, and ensure that the honest student can pass the exam honestly,” Minister Dmitry Livanov told Interfax.

The Unified State Exams, used for university admission, was plagued with reports of widespread cheating this year. In May, students sitting the Russian-language test in the Far East took photographs of the test paper and published them online, giving schoolchildren in western Russia a chance to see what was in store for them. Results were also found to have been doctored by exam officials in nearly 20 regions.

The video surveillance systems that will be used to oversee the exams will be the same ones that were used to monitor the 2012 presidential elections. Given that the equipment will not have to be bought, Livanov said the initiative will cost about 12,000 rubles ($360) per test-session.

The video equipment will remain in schools beyond the 2014 test period, Livanov said. “It will be used to conduct the exam in the following years and for a variety of other educational purposes,” he said, without going into further detail.

The new system should be functioning by early April, Livanov said.

While the ministry sets about trying to improve the way exams are delivered, an educator from one of Russia’s top research institutes has proposed making a change to university admission requirements.

The rector of the Higher School of Economics, Yaroslav Kuzminov, has sent a letter to the Education and Science Ministry and the federal education watchdog proposing that the winners of inter-school academic competitions, also known as Olympiads, be obliged to take an additional specialist-subject test to enter university.

Under the current system, Olympiad winners can be admitted to university without having to take the Unified State Exam. Kuzminov says his proposed changes would help battle corruption and weed out poor students before they enter university on a questionable academic record, Kommersant reported Monday.

Kuzminov’s proposal will be discussed and “will very likely be adopted,” an unidentified ministry official said.


Times Talk


Wednesday, Apr. 16

Learn more about AmCham’s efforts during the Joint Manufacturing, and Investment and Legal Committees Meeting today at 9 a.m. Check their website for more information about the event.

Today marks the beginning of IPhEB and CPhI Russia 2014, an international forum for the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology that will be at LenExpo today and tomorrow. Those both already established in the industries and hoping to start a career are encouraged to attend and network with their colleagues.

Thursday, Apr. 17

Expocenter Eurasia at 13 Ulitsa Kapitan Voronin is the sight of Goods on the Way, a five-day event starting today showcasing the latest in the industrial products industry. Bags, backpacks, swimsuits and much, much more will be available to attendees hoping to update not only their style but their accessories for the upcoming summer.

Friday, Apr. 18

Teachers and students alike shouldn’t miss the opportunity to establish lasting contacts with Russian and foreign institutions during the 21st Education and Career Fair at LenExpo, beginning today and finishing tomorrow. Learn more about education in Russia and connect with your fellow scholars.

The Tromso International Film Festival, Norway’s largest, brings a short festival to St. Petersburg for one day only during Scandinavian Oddities, starting at 7 p.m. today at Rodina Cinema Center. Tickets for the event are 100 rubles ($2.80).

Sunday, Apr. 20

Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.

Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.

Monday, Apr. 21

Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.

Tuesday, Apr. 22

SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.

The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.