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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


Thursday, Apr. 24

Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.

AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.

Friday, Apr. 25

Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from

Saturday, Apr. 26

At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.

Sunday, Apr. 27

Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.

Monday, Apr. 28

The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.

Tuesday, Apr. 29

Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.