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‘Rate of absenteeism among Ahmadi students high’
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 12: While the high school 12th graders continue with their end-of-first-semester exams, officials in the Ministry of Education defended the integrity of the exam process, stressing that no test was leaked, and that the high number of cheating cases is evidence of the fact that the controls set in place to combat cheating are effective, reports Al-Rai daily. They explained that the spread of answer sheets via WhatsApp and Snapchat groups is a natural occurrence that happens annually during the exam season, but the benefit from them is very limited, due to the strict prohibition of phones, headphones and electronic devices, in addition to placing under the microscope those schools where there is suspicion of cheating.
These measures also include the full rotation of its departments, and the use of a confidential whistleblower to detect those who facilitate cheating. Those caught doing so are immediately referred to the Legal Affairs Department for investigation, and appropriate legal action is taken accordingly. The first deputy in STEM Subjects Examination Control Youssef Al-Najjar affirmed that no cases of the same answers were detected in the students’ answers in the Physics, Mathematics and Arabic language tests in the scientific section. He revealed that the highest reported cases of cheating was for the Mathematics test.
Al-Najjar went on to reveal that the examination committees in the scientific department recorded 247 reports of cheating in the Mathematics test, 164 in the Arabic language test, and 80 in physics. He said, “The absence of leakage of any test and the large number of cheating reports is evidence of the ministry’s seriousness in fighting it, and its strictness in implementing the anti-cheating mechanism.” In turn, a second deputy in the Humanity Subjects Examination Control Mansour Al-Dhafiri affirmed that no exam had leaked. He highlighted the high percentage of absentees in the exams of the Humanity section due to the strictness of the examination committees and the crackdown on cheating students.
Al-Dhafiri explained that the cheating reports in the Humanity section are normal, and almost lower than last year. The correction mechanism takes place under the supervision of the subject instructors, and they are the ones who monitor whether or not there are identical answers. Meanwhile, Director General of the Ahmadi Educational Zone Walid Al-Ghaith revealed that the rate of absenteeism among Ahmadi students was high, as some of them found the doors of cheating closed in all committees.
He said, “The cheaters preferred to use medical excuses and opted to do their exams later after seeing the procedures currently applied to deter cheating. Al-Ghaith indicated that the electronic form of cheating has decreased significantly in most committees, and the spread of typical test answers is normal, affirming that the currently-applied anti-cheating procedures are effective.
He highlighted that reports of cheating are high in Ahmadi, and this serves as evidence of the seriousness and firmness in controlling the examination mechanism and the lack of tolerance of school administrations with anyone who tries to cheat or facilitates cheating. In the same context, the Director of the Jahra Educational Zone Jassim Bu Hamad said the leakage of exams usually occurs at least a day before the scheduled date for the exam, but this did not happen during the current exams. Bu Hamad indicated that the inspection and monitoring procedures fortified the examination committees, so that cheating devices do not reach the students, adding that the rate of absentees is high among evening students, and that the reports of cheating did not exceed the normal rate witnessed every year.