Cardboard boxes put on pupils’ heads to stop cheating in exams at Indian school

Samuel Osborne
The controversial photographs led to widespread criticism on social media: ANI

A school in India has apologised after pictures emerged of pupils wearing cardboard boxes on their heads to prevent cheating in an exam.

Students at Bhagat Pre-University College in the town of Haveri, Karnataka state, reportedly wore the cartons while sitting a chemistry test on Wednesday.

Photos showed with boxes on their heads with square holes cut out to allow them to see their exam papers.

SC Peerjade, deputy director of the local pre-University education board, described the preventative measure as “inhuman”.

“A civilised society will never accept such an idea. I hope this is never repeated again,” he told the Times of India. “There are traditional ways of managing students and preventing malpractice in the examination hall and the college can resort to them.”

A junior college administrator said the students had consented to wearing the boxes and even brought their own (ANI)

Mr Peerjade added: “When I got a message on this, I immediately went to the college and ordered the management to stop the practice.”

Junior college administrator, MB Satish, apologised for the elaborate measure and said it had been implemented on an “experimental basis”.

He added pupils had consented to wearing the boxes and even brought their own cartons.

“There was no compulsion of any kind. You can see in the photograph that some students were not wearing it,” he told BBC Hindi.

“Some who wore it removed it after 15 minutes, some after 20 minutes and we ourselves asked them to remove it after one hour.”

The controversial photographs led to widespread criticism on social media.

S Suresh Kumar, the state education minister, said the school’s practice was “unacceptable”.

“Nobody has any right to treat anybody more so students like animals,” he tweeted. “This perversion will be dealt with aptly.”

India has seen a string of cheating scandals across recent years.

In 2015, parents risked their lives by climbing school buildings in Bihar state to help their children cheat in the country’s equivalent to GCSEs. It led to more than 600 pupils being expelled.