Testing times: Bihar, K'taka show the way when it comes to out-of-the-box answers
As out-of-the-box thinking is disapproved, putting students’ heads in them is inevitable.
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It is not surprising, however, that the Bihar and Karnataka ‘experiments’ had precedents in places as far afield as Mexico and Thailand as cheating is not confined to examination-obsessed India. That less cumbersome paper ‘blinker’ caps — whose side-flaps made examinees look like Japanese samurai — debuted at a university in Bangkok in 2013 and led another university there to ‘invent’ the anti-cheating box soon after, also shows a regional congruence on how to deal with the problem.
As India does not have the funds to instal overhead cameras or even send up invigilator drones to catch cheaters — as Belgium tested in 2014 — repurposing ubiquitous cardboard cartons appears to be the cheapest and most eco-friendly, if uncomfortable, alternative. Besides, thinking out of the box is not encouraged in India’s education system anyway, so ensconcing students’ heads in them merely reiterates this policy.