Government wants to curb cheating by checking student laptops

Experts back up student association’s criticism of invasive proposal

The education minister, Merete Riisager, has proposed a new rule that would permit public schools to check student laptops in order to uncover exams cheats.

The proposal, which also includes schools being allowed, when necessary, to monitor student activity on social media, is part of a new report regarding exam rules that has been sent to a hearing.

“It can be quite unpleasant, I don’t doubt that. But if you feel that way, then have a chat with the school about borrowing a computer to avoid being in such a situation,” Riisager told DR Nyheder.

READ MORE: Being a ‘clever clogs’ in class can also have negative consequences, study shows

Too much Big Brother
In an email to Information newspaper, the Education Ministry wrote that a condition for taking the exam would be to allow the school to have access to laptop contents, search history and log file, as well as study materials and social media accounts.

Failure to provide the schools with the laptops would give the schools the right to retain the students’ private property for up to 24 hours or to completely expel the students from school.

But according to Jens Philip Yazdani, the head of public school student association Danske Gymnasieelevers Sammenslutning, the proposal goes way too far – a sentiment that has been backed up by a number of experts and politicians.

“Personally, I think that checking private property and social media is too far-reaching. I also think you put the teachers in a bad situation in which they might check something that isn’t legal and risk being blamed for it,” Anni Mathiesen, Venstre’s spokesperson for education, told DR Nyheder.

“She [Riisager] is punishing thousands of young students with this proposal in order to catch a few.”

Whatever the result of the issue, it’s certainly not like the good old days, when exam cheating required real ingenuity (see below).




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