Students made to wear cardboard boxes over heads during exams in a bid to discourage cheating

The scheme, enacted by the Bhagat Pre-University College in India, did not sit too well with social media user, or even the politicians

                            Students made to wear cardboard boxes over heads during exams in a bid to discourage cheating
(Source : Getty Images)

A school in India has come under criticism after images showed students wearing cardboard boxes over their heads while giving their exam - a measure that was apparently implemented to discourage cheating.

The seemingly bizarre move was made at the Bhagat Pre-University College in Haveri, in the Indian state of Karnataka, in a bid curb the widespread and persistent cheating problem they had endured the previous year, according to CNN.

Photos taken by a staff member that quickly went viral on various social media platforms showed the students sitting in rows with all of their heads covered by cardboard boxes as they gave their exams. The boxes had holes cut out in the front so the students could see their desks and their exam sheets, but restricted their peripheral vision so they could not peek at the papers of those sitting close to them.

Social media users slammed the measure, calling for those responsible to be punished. "This is ridiculous and humiliating for the students," one wrote. "Yes, cheating is a problem, but this is not the way to solve it. Whoever approved this should be reprimanded."

"This is ridiculous. Weakness of management and teachers in performing their duties," another posted. "Why can't they think on solution of the problem?? One or two students cheat in exams and for this a stupid solution is implemented on all."

The images caught the attention of S. Suresh Kumar, the education minister for Karnataka, who called it "unacceptable" and promised action against the school. "Nobody has any right to treat anybody more so students like animals," he tweeted. "This (perversion) will be dealt with aptly."

MB Sateesh, the head of Bhagat's school management, apologized for the measure but insisted it was optional and had only been approved with the parents' consent. He said out of the 72 students taking the exam, only 56 participated in the experiment.

"They said they were comfortable with the trial," he said. "The college did not harass any student, it was optional and some (students) experimented, some did not."

He said the students had brought their own cardboard boxes and that most had removed them after 15 to 30 minutes, adding that the school had instructed all of them to take the boxes off within an hour.

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