A photo showing students of a renowned Bangkok university wearing strange headgear complete with side flaps to thwart cheating during a midterm exam caused quite a stir after it was uploaded to Facebook as a joke.
Teachers at Kasetsart University in Thailand have recently come under fire for making their students wear horse blinder-like devices made of paper to prevent them from cheating on their exams. A photo showing around 100 students wearing the rudimentary anti-cheating hats was recently posted on Facebook by the KU student board, where it got so many negative reactions that it was eventually removed. Unfortunately for the Thai learning institution the photo had already been picked up by the media and the negative responses just kept on coming. However, it appears the students were not pressured into wearing the paper blinders, in fact they were the one who suggested it. ‘‘It was an agreement between us. No student was forced to wear a hat. Instead, all were happy to do so and thought it was fun. They felt more relaxed during the test,’’ Nattadon Rungruangkitkrai, a lecturer at Kasetsart University, said during in a press conference.
Rungruangkitkrai’s claims have been confirmed by members of the student council, who went on to explain that the anti-cheating hats were deemed necessary because the classroom was too small for the number of individuals taking the exam, and they were forced to sit very close to each other. “It is quite normal that people try to cheat in an exam, so the hat helps avoid distractions while doing the test. I feel very bad, and angry, that this has been seen as bad by outsiders,” a third year student at KU told the Bangkok Post.
Nattadon told the press he had intended to teach the students about ethics, and as part of this lesson he had asked them to think of creative ways of preventing cheating during the upcoming exams. Out of all the ideas presented, they settled on blinder hats made from A4 paper. I for one fail to understand see how wearing anti-cheating hats promotes the idea of ethical conduct, although, to his defense the students had agree to do it. Still, simply not cheating when given the opportunity sounds a lot more ethical to me.
According to News.com.au, Thailand’s Civil Aviation Center allegedly used a similar anti-cheating approach. A photo (also posted on Facebook) shows students wearing cardboard boxes on their heads.