Bhagat Pre-University College

Students Forced To Wear Boxes On Their Heads During Exam To Prevent Cheating

One school in India has issued a formal apology for its bizarre anti-cheating measures which saw the school come under scrutiny.

Schools will go to immense lengths to discourage cheating.

Unsplash | Bima Rahmanda

However, Bhagat Pre-University College in India took their prevention of cheating to a new level recently, by making their students wear cardboard boxes on their heads in order to minimize their vision. The cardboard boxes had an opening cut at the end for them to see out of, but the sides were left untampered with.

The effect was supposed to be similar to the use of blinkers on horses.

One school official posted the images on Facebook.

Twitter | ANI

The images of the unfortunate chemistry students quickly went viral, and M.B. Sateesh, the school management who was responsible for the practice, was called out for the idea.

As if sitting a chemistry exam wasn't bad enough, imagine having to do it with a box on your head!

Sateesh explained that it was only a trial and the students were happy to partake.

Twitter | ANI

Sateesh also highlighted that the trial was not only optional but that the student's parents had been asked prior to the exam, according to CNN.

Sateesh went on to say, "They said they were comfortable with the trial. The college did not harass any student, it was optional and some [students] experimented, some did not."

Some of the students apparently brought their own boxes!

Bhagat Pre-University College

Sateesh claimed that the students could take the boxes off whenever they felt uncomfortable (as some students can be seen not wearing the boxes) and that the teachers even themselves advised the students to take them off after a while in case they were finding it distracting.

However, if the school felt it necessary to tell the students to take the boxes off after an hour in case it was distracting them, why did they suggest such a bizarre strategy that they clearly weren't sure of the efficacy of in the first place? Surely not distracting the students outweighs potentially reducing some cheating?

People were quick to brand the method as wrong, with one official calling it "Inhumane."

Twitter | ANI

Local pre-University Education Board deputy director, S.C. Peerjade, was fervently against the idea. Peerjade told the Time of India:

"This is inhumane and a civilized society will never accept such an idea. I hope this is never repeated again [...] There are traditional ways of managing students and preventing malpractice in the examination hall and the college can resort to them."

This is also not the first time that such a measure has been taken.

Twitter | karanku100

Back in 2013, a series of images were posted to Bangkok’s Kasetsart University Facebook page, of similar measures being implemented. However, they were not met with necessarily the same level of outrage.

The cardboard headpieces will not be used again in Bhagat Pre-University College.

Instagram | roderick752

Despite defending their right to try the unorthodox method, Sateesh did apologize for putting it into place, reports the BBC.

India's education system has previously been criticized for potentially placing too much pressure on its students to exceed all expectations placed on them, which could explain why students may be tempted to cheat.

Back in April of this year, 19 students in India took their own life after receiving exam results.

Unsplash | Stefano Pollio

It is a tragedy that so many of these young teenagers felt that their life was dependent upon the outcome of exams. Exams may be important, but they are by no means the end of the world.

According to a report by CNN, many experts and parents blamed the pressure to succeed in school as the cause of 6.7% of all suicides in India being young teenagers in 2015.

Hopefully, these students weren't too distracted by their cardboard helmets.

Twitter | ANI

While a lot of people found the images amusing, with a quite considerable of responses making the, "No more thinking outside of the box!" joke, this would be immensely distracting for students — not to mention, quite humiliating!

I can't say I'd be too happy if my kid was made to wear this, and hopefully, these kids won't have to go through this again.

h/t: BBC & CNN