Internet shut down in Algeria to stop pupils cheating

To stop pupils cheating in Algeria, the government has taken the extreme measure of cutting internet access across the whole of the country during exam time.

Mobile and web connections were stopped for two hours on Wednesday to coincide with the start of two high school diploma tests.

The blackouts are expected to continue for the duration of the exam period, which runs until Monday, following a crackdown by officials.

The 2016 exam season was marred by widespread cheating, with questions published on social media before or at the start of tests.

File pic
Mobile phones and tablets with internet access have been banned at more than 2,000 exam centres. File pic

Last year, authorities asked operators to shut down access to social media.

Mobile phones and tablets with internet access have now been banned at more than 2,000 exam centres to stop cheating among more than 700,000 students.

Metal detectors have even been placed at the entrances, while phone jamming technology and CCTV have been installed at sites where exam papers are printed.

Internet provider Algerie Telecom said web services were cut “in compliance with instructions from the government, aimed at ensuring the high school diploma tests run smoothly”.

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