CCTV to Catch Out Cheating Students
Published: December 4, 2013 (Issue # 1789)
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.