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Algeria goes offline to stop students cheating

Algeria goes offline to stop students cheating


<p>Algeria went offline on Wednesday for the start of high school diploma exams, the first in a series of internet blackouts to stop students cheating.</p> <p>Mobile and fixed internet lines were cut across the country for a total of two hours, to coincide with the start of two separate school tests, <span class="caps">AFP</span> journalists in Algiers said.</p> <p>A third hour-long internet shutdown was planned for later on Wednesday, according to a schedule issued by public operator Algerie Telecom.</p> <p>Internet services were cut “in compliance with instructions from the government, aimed at ensuring the high school diploma tests run smoothly,” Algerie Telecom said.</p> <p>The pre-planned blackouts are due to continue for the whole period of exams, until Monday, to combat cheating among more than 700,000 students.</p> <p>Ali Kahlane, president of telecoms association <span class="caps">AOTA</span>, said operators were required to conform to the government’s demands.</p> <h3><a href="http://www.africanews.com/2017/05/31/ethiopia-imposes-100-percent-internet-blackout-to-protect-integrity-of-exams/"target="_blank">Ethiopia imposes 100% internet blackout to protect integrity of exams</a></h3> <p>The 2016 exam season was marred by widespread cheating, with exam questions published on social media before or at the start of the test.</p> <p>Last year, authorities requested operators shut down access to social media, but the move did not entirely end the problem.</p> <p>Latecomers were banned from taking the exam and instead had to attend a specially organised test.</p> <p>Electronics with internet access, such as mobile phones and tablets, were this year banned from Algeria’s more than 2,000 exam centres.</p> <p>Metal detectors have meanwhile been set up at the entrance to the centres, Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit said.</p> <p>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 are printed.</p>
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