The Chinese city of Luoyang will use drones to patrol exam rooms in an attempt to prevent students from cheating. The new surveillance method started being used this weekend during the National College Entrance Exam.
The exam, aka “the gaokao” is taken every year by up to 10 million students across the country and determines whether the student will have access to higher education and if so, to which universities they can attend.
This exam become known as “the most stressful examination in the world”, and for obvious reasons since about a quarter of the students get cut off annually and can’t attend university. So Luoyang is now going to use drones to strengthen their security measures and try to prevent students from receiving external help during the tests.
Local authorities tested this system last Friday in order to make sure it’ll work perfectly during the two days of exams. These drones can detect radio waves emitted by electronic devices – banned in the examination venues – that allow locating its source and notifying the staff where the offender is.
In previous years, the Chinese authorities have confiscated transmitters and other devices – which students used to cheat – hidden in clothing, glasses, pens and even inside the ears. China pretty much paralyzes every year during the “gaokao” since most of the traffic stops in cities across the country and in Beijing, for example, they set up anti-terrorism schemes, so that nothing interferes the exams.
The Chinese authorities have made the students well aware of the cheater-catching drones in hopes that the fear of being caught will reduce drastically the incidence of cheating. In case a student is caught cheating, not only are they prosecuted under Chinese law, they are also banned from the exams for three years.