Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Industry | By Terrell Bush

Algeria turns off internet for high school exams

Algeria turns off internet for high school exams

The pre-planned blackouts are scheduled to continue until Monday, to combat cheating among more than 700,000 students.

To stop pupils cheating in Algeria, the government has taken the extreme measure of cutting internet access across the whole of the country during exam time.

Mobile and fixed internet connections were cut across the country for a total of two hours, to coincide with the start of two school tests.

She says Facebook will also be banned every day, all day between 20-25 June.

The move follows widespread cheating in 2016, with questions leaked online before and during tests.

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Additionally, all electronic devices with internet access - for both students and school staff - have been banned from the country's 2,000 exam halls, with metal detectors set up at their entrances, the BBC said.

She says she's "not comfortable" with the decision, but says "we should not passively stand in front of such a possible leak".

In a further move to prevent questions being leaked, the minister said mobile phone jammers and surveillance cameras had been installed in locations where the exam papers were printed.

Social media access was restricted past year and will continue to be in 2018 as well, with Facebook being blocked throughout this six day period. Ethiopia undertook a similar measure past year after activists published the university entrance exam online in 2016, according to the Guardian, while Iraq shut off internet access for a few hours in 2015 and 2016 to coincide with sixth-grade national exams.

Uzbekistan also blocked mobile internet and SMS services in 2016 during university entrance exams.

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