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Chinese School Uses Facial Recognition to Monitor Students’ Attention in Class

Students at the No. 11 Middle School in Hangzhou, China, may want to think twice before dozing off or getting distracted in class as a new facial recognition system will be scanning their faces every 30 seconds to make sure they are paying attention.

Called a “smart classroom behavior management system”, the new monitoring solution recently installed at Hangzhou’s No. 11 Middle School is made up of three high-tech cameras positioned above the blackboard that constantly feed information to an AI-powered software that analyzes the students’ facial expressions and general behavior and assesses whether they are enjoying lessons or if their minds are wandering.

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25-Year-Old Man Posed as 17-Year-Old Teen So He Could Play High-School Basketball

A 25-year-old Dallas man posed as a freshman high-school student for nine months so he could once again relive his glory days as a teen basketball player.

Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley enrolled at the Skyline High School last year, claiming to be a Hurricane Harvey refugee named Rashun Richardson. At the time, Dallas high-schools had opened their doors to hurricane evacuees, and Gilstrap-Portley was savvy enough to take advantage of that. In October, he transferred to Hillcrest High School, where he again claimed to be a homeless hurricane evacuee. He joined the school’s basketball team, became its star player and was voted the District 11-5A offensive player of the year for the 2017-2018 season. Unfortunately for Sidney, his love for basketball proved to be his undoing.

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Schools in the UK Are Removing Analog Clocks Because Students Can’t Tell Time

A head-teachers’ union in the UK recently reported that youths have become so accustomed to using digital devices that they are having trouble correctly reading time on analog clocks, forcing schools to replace them.

According to Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders, children and young teens aren’t as good at reading an old-fashioned clock as previous ones. Because phones, tablets and computers play such a huge role in their lives, they are constantly exposed to time in digital format, so seeing the time displayed in analog format in examination halls can be a cause of unnecessary stress for children. For this reason, some schools are removing analog clocks and replacing them with digital ones.

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South-African Teacher Uses Hip-Hop to Make Math Fun for Students

Kurt Minnaar, a 33-year-old math teacher at Cape Town’s Eben Dönges High School uses hip hop beats and rhymes to make math lessons more enjoyable for his students.

Singing or listening to music during math class is usually frowned upon, but in Kurt Minnaar’s classroom, it’s actually a pre-requisite. The former choreographer and hip-hop artist is using his musical background to make the process of learning math a lot easier and less boring for his students. Minaar says that most kids today are into music and beats, and he’s basically taking the traditional math curriculum and fusing it with what they love to make it easier to learn and remember.

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Indian Textbook Encourages Kids to Kill Cats as an Experiment

The authors of a Class IV textbook in India recently came under fire, after it was revealed that in a lesson on the importance of breathing they were literally encouraging the kids to do an experiment involving suffocating a cat.

It sounds hard to believe that a school textbook for environmental studies could teach children as young as 9 years old to kill an animal as an experiment, but it’s sadly true. Twitter user Lola Kuttiamma shared photos of the book passages concerning the absurd experiment, and people understandably were outraged about it. “Living things breathe”, the textbook explains. “No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. “You can do an experiment. Take two wooden boxes. Make holes on lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the Boxes. After some time open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten in the box with no holes has died.”

Wow, is that educational or what? And they’re not even suggesting using adult cats, but cute little kittens. Not that grown cats would have made it any more acceptable, but kittens just make it sound even crueler. And if you thought things couldn’t possibly get worse, you were wrong. The textbook, entitled “Our Green World: Environment Studies”, also features a couple of pictograms, with one kitten alive and well in the box with holes in it, and the other, well, dead.

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Chinese School Creates “Grade Bank” That Lets Students Borrow Grades to Pass Exams

In an effort to ease the intense pressure that its students face in China’s notoriously rigid exam-based education system, a school in Nanjing has created a “grade bank” that lets students “borrow” grades so that they can pass exams, and then repay them in subsequent tests.

Oh man, I wish we had something like this when I was in school, because this system sounds awesome! So here’s how it works: the innovative mark bank allows students to loan marks to make up for a failing grade in any exam. But, just like regular banks, it requires “clients” to pay back the loan on time, with interest. Thus, students have to make up for the loan by scoring extra points in future exams. Some teachers also allow the students to repay the bank by conducting lab experiments or giving public speeches. Pupils who default on their loans are blacklisted by the bank, just like in real life.

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Chinese Students Are Forced to Take Tests Outdoors in Thick Smog

A school principal in China’s Henan province was recently suspended for making young students take tests outdoors in smog so thick that they could barely see their papers, despite receiving orders to close the school.

On December 20th, 480 students from the No. 1 Middle School in Linqi town, Linzhou, were forced to take their tests on the school’s an outdoor football field, in heavy smog. Photos taken by concerned parents and later sent to local media outlets show the children struggling to make out the writing on their papers, but the principal apparently decided that the smog was not “severe”.

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Chinese Schools Crack Down on Trendy Haircuts with Barbers at the Gates

Faced with the adoption of trendy foreign hairstyles by a growing number of students, Chinese schools are coming up with desperate measures to enforce their strict haircut policies. The latest of these measures involves posting barbers at the school gates to trim long or dyed hair on the spot.

Chinese students returning from their summer break with new haircuts to show off to their colleagues were greeted with a really nasty surprise right at the school entrance – a barber ready to trim any hairdos that didn’t comply with regulations. Photos posted by students of the Qinhan Secondary School, in Xi’an, China’s Shaanxi province, show kids walking by piles of freshly cut hair and a scissors-wielding barber working his magic on an offender.

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Teacher Installs Cycling Machines Under Students’ Desks to Help Them Concentrate

After noticing that her eight grade students had problems focusing during math class, a North Carolina teacher decided to channel their energy in a different way – cycling.

It doesn’t sound like the most common thing to do during math class, but Bethany Lambeth, a teacher from Wake County, says that ever since she installed cycling machines under her students’ desks, the quality of their work has improved greatly, they are more focused, and, most importantly, they are no longer fidgeting all the time.

“Before, they were drumming on their desks, they were touching other people, they don’t do that anymore. Their feet are getting the movement out,” she said. “There has been a huge increase in the quality of our student’s work and a decrease in the amount of missing work.”

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Drink or Fail – Chinese Students Forced to Down Hard Liquor to Pass Exam

A college professor in China has been suspended after giving his students a rather controversial test during their final exam. In a bid to prepare them for real life, he asked his students to gulp down glasses of baijiu, a Chinese liquor, grading them based on how much they were able consume.

“You’re all going to do sales jobs after graduation, drinking baijiu is the thing you must learn!” Gu Ming told the students of his Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) class at Guizhou Anshun Vocational Institute. He had poured the alcohol into dozens of plastic cups and laid them out on the desk in his office, asking his students to drink up.

“Those who ‘ganbeied’ (finished) a full glass of liquor get a full 100 mark for their exam, half glass gets 90 marks, and a sip gets 60,” one of Gu Ming’s students later posted on Chinese social media website Weibo. “Those who do not drink at all will fail.”

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Roadside Education – Indian Factory Worker Opens Street School to Teach Slum Kids

For the past 15 years, factory owner Kamal Parmar has been running an after-school program for slum kids in Ahmedabad, India, helping them with basic skills like reading and writing and even preparing for their school tests. 

Parmar’s story begins one afternoon 15 years ago. He was standing outside his metal fabrication workshop, near the slums of the Bhudarpura neighborhood, when he met a few kids returning home from the local municipal school. They were ecstatic about the end of their exams, which they claimed to have aced, so he decided to stop them and ask them a few questions. That’s when he made a shocking discovery – the students, even the older ones, did not know how to read.

“I took their exam paper and asked a few questions to some of them,” he says in a 2014 documentary titled Footpath School. “But none of them knew any answers. I thought to ask a few others. I asked them to read, but they did not even know how to read. Surprised, I asked them what did they write in their exams. All they knew was identifying the alphabet. And that left me thinking that something should be done for these children. And that is how, 15 to 17 years back I started this school.”

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Chinese Primary School Replaces Nap Time With Meditation Session

Most people will agree that nap time is one of the best things about kindergarten – which is why a Chinese primary school was severely criticized for trying to replace afternoon naps with meditation. The pilot meditation program at Shishan Shuben Primary School, in China’s Guangdong Province, ran for only two days before it was scrapped following a backlash. Parents apparently hated the idea, and the media reacted negatively to it as well.

According to news reports, notices were sent to parents before the new semester, informing them that the school was going to do away with mid-day naps and introduce guided meditation instead. When school started, the students were each given a piece of newspaper to sit on. They were then made to watch tutorial videos on how to meditate, featuring the school’s headmaster, Mr. Wu. Unfortunately, Wu’s directions did not have the intended effect – most of the students slept anyway. “He just keeps talking all the time and some of them have been falling asleep,” one little kid said.

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Deep Springs College – An Exclusive All-Male College in the Middle of a California Desert

One of the most exclusive colleges in the world is located bang in the middle of the remote high California desert. The institution accepts only 12 male students a year, and believe it or not, it consistently tops Harvard’s yield rate!

Deep Springs College, founded in 1917, is unusual in every imaginable way. It has a miniscule student body, an alfalfa-farm-and-cattle-ranch campus, and a mandatory 20 hours of manual labor per week. In fact, the college was built on the concepts of self-governance, manual labor, and rigorous academics. So the 24-odd guys up there spend their college years studying hard and, farming even harder.

Located in the Inyo-White Mountains, just east of the Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada range, the campus spans 50 square miles in Deep Springs Valley. It offers a two-year liberal arts course, technically making it a junior college. But according to Vanity Fair, “Roughly 80 percent go on as juniors to colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Oxford, while the remainder typically embark on a year of service first.” This places Deep Springs college in a category of its own.

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Indians Take Exam Cheating to New Heights by Scaling School Walls to Help Friends and Relatives

Cheating at exams is an age-old phenomenon, but the practice literally scaled new heights last week in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. News reports showed how parents and relatives of 10th-grade students climbing the walls of a school building to hand cheat sheets to the students taking their year-end exams inside!

Photographs and videos of the stupefying event went viral in India, even as police officers stood watching helplessly. Some videos also showed inspectors slapping young students as they pulled out cheat sheets from under their tables. It seems that several students were able to smuggle textbooks and notes into the exam centers despite tight security.

Cheating is apparently common in rural areas of the state, where the competition is fierce and opportunities are few. Just last month, dozens of 12th-grade students were expelled and parents detained in cases of cheating. But the sight of parents risking their life and limb to help their kids has truly shocked the nation.

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Students Across the Country Are Brokering Deals to Get Out of Exams if They Get Enough Retweets

I never thought I’d live to see the day when Tweets could replace a student’s academic performance. But it’s actually becoming a popular trend. Teachers all over the United States are promising to cancel final exams if their students manage to get a sufficient number of retweets. I’m not sure the teachers always mean it, but it appears that the students are their deals quite seriously.

It all started with one opportunistic student – Andrew Muennink of Round Rock High School in Texas – who struck a sweet deal with his art teacher. Andrew is quite popular on Twitter, with over 2,300 followers. “I try my best and the final is supposed to be so hard, so I was like, ‘I have lots of followers on Twitter’”.

So he decided to leverage his vast following to his benefit. He approached his art teacher on 7 May and succeeded in striking a deal – if he could get 15,000 retweets by 12 p.m. on May 23rd, his class would be excused from taking the art final. His post spread quickly all over the internet, and he achieved his goal long before the deadline.

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