The incident came to light after pictures and videos of students of Bhagat Pre-University College writing exam with their heads covered with cartons were widely circulated on social media.
In a bizarre incident to curb malpractice of cheating in exams, around 50 students studying in first-year at a private college in Karnataka’s Haveri district were forced to sit for a mid-term examination with cardboard cartons covering their heads.
The incident came to light after pictures and videos of students of Bhagat Pre-University College writing Chemistry exam with their heads covered with cartons were widely circulated on social media. A hole was cut out on the front side of the cartons to breathe and see as they write the exam, while limiting their viewing angle to keep them from seeing anything on their left or right-hand side. While students can be seen writing papers, invigilators can also be seen in the classroom enforcing discipline.
Karnataka: Students were made to wear cardboard boxes during an exam at Bhagat Pre-University College in Haveri, reportedly to stop them from cheating. (16.10.2019) pic.twitter.com/lPR5z0dsUs
— ANI (@ANI) October 18, 2019
Surprisingly, the college administration appeared to justify their action. One of the college directors MB Satish told reporters that a college in Bihar had used a similar method to curb cheating during exams and was widely appreciated on social media. “We tried to do this for the betterment of students. We don’t want students’ mind to be diverted… the front side of the boxes was open. This was our new experiment. We have received both positive and negative feedback,” he said.
Soon after the video took the internet by storm, the institute drew criticism on social media. Some people questioned the rationale behind such a move and wondered how can such a measure really act as a deterrent.
Reacting to the incident, Karnataka Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said that such an attempt was not acceptable. “Nobody has any right to treat anybody more so students like animals. This perversion will be dealt with aptly,” he tweeted.
Authorities in the district education department took cognisance of the act and served a notice to the institute, seeking an explanation. “A notice has been issued to Bhagat Pre-University College seeking explanation for forcing its students to wear cardboard boxes (cartons) while writing exams to prevent them from copying,” news agency IANS reported quoting a Haveri district Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI).