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Clandestine social sharing reported during North African high school exams

June 27, 2012  »  EducationNo Comment

The ease of taking a mobile photo and sharing via Internet seems to have taken educators and administrators off guard in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco this year.

We almost couldn’t believe it last week when heard news of high school students in not one, not two, but three North African countries cheating on final exams. Sure, Tunisian and Egyptian youth are globally renowned for their social media prowess, but who thought they would be able to take the medium this far?

On June 11th, Global Voices reported on how Egyptian students harnessed the power of social media to share exam content. Students, using a common hashtag, then collectively posted answers as the test went on.

A similar scene unfolded in Tunisia. In this case, however, the Ministry of Education decided to make the candidates re-take a new exam instead of the leaked exam. Still, the leak brought up issues of how competent the government – known for its censorship efforts – actually is online.

Over in Morocco, tests were posted on Facebook only minutes after they began. Apparently, tests leak every year, but 2012’s were actually of the right exam. For the record, phones were not allowed in exams.

Time will tell if scores are inflated due to the crowd-sourcing of answers. Stricter enforcement of a “no phone” policy is clearly needed. Otherwise, children with phones are at a significant advantage of those without. Most of all, working anything but independently on these exams is highly immoral.