Drones to invigilate exams and counter cheating in China
Chinese authorities, in a bid to ensure transparency and impartiality to the utmost, have decided to use surveillance drones in effectively stamping out cheating, during college-entrance exams. The decision has been taken in light of the recent past, where different tactics have been adopted by Chinese students to cheat their way into prominent universities. These have included hiring surrogate test givers, selling answers as well as using wireless communication devices and earphones to attempt the entrance tests.
The stakes are high in the tests, with the scores determining which tier of university students can go to. The tests, which began on Sunday, took place whilst a six-propeller drone flew overhead two testing centers in Luoyang in Henan province. No cheating or untoward activity was discovered though. The drone, which costed hundreds of thousands of Yuan (equivalent to ten thousand pounds, almost) is the size of a gas pump and can scan for signals being sent to devices, that may be smuggled inside the testing center.
Nearly 10 million students in China will take the test, which is also referred to as Gaokao or the ‘high test’. Beijing deployed 17,000 police officers to redirect traffic and increase security at the testing sites, and also set up service stations to treat anxious parents should any suffer heart attacks, the city government said in a statement.
“A drone has its advantages. In an urban area full of tall buildings, various barriers limit the operating range of devices on ground, while the drone can rise up to 500 meters and detect signals over the whole city,” stated by Lan from Luoyang’s radio supervision and regulation bureau.