Hundreds cheat at final examinations

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 July, 2010, 12:00am

Hundreds of Beijing Open University (BOU) students cheated during final exams on Saturday, with officials allowing them to do it and even helping, according to state media.

About 600 students took exams at one location in the capital, with sophisticated cheating techniques found in almost every exam room, The Beijing News reported yesterday. More than 20 students were caught officially, but the actual number of cheats was expected to be much higher, according to the report.

BOU officials admitted that Saturday's cheating was the most rampant since its founding in the 1960s. They said they would investigate the cases and the officials who allowed it.

BOU and the nation's 44 provincial and nearly 3,000 municipal and county open universities, are the main ways for working adults to continue their studies.

Competition for top scores, which lead to good jobs, leads to cheating. Items confiscated in recent years have included eyeglasses with earpiece attachments, and wristwatches able to receive short messages.

Authorities tightened security for this year's university entrance exam by installing monitoring equipment and using more overseers.

A Beijing News reporter proved it was possible for a substitute to sit the exam. On Saturday morning, he walked into the exam venue with the crowd by carrying a bag and pretending to be a student. No one checked his identity. He checked several venues and found almost all students had hidden note sheets or mobile phones.

The newspaper report quoted one overseer as saying most of the officials were BOU employees or their relatives who were paid 60 yuan (HK$69) per day to monitor the examinations.