The Ministry of Education has requested from all schools to install surveillance cameras in an attempt to combat cheating and academic misconduct during the official exams. According to the Ministry, the schools will have to cover the expenses from their own budget and cooperate with the corresponding IT units to make sure everything is in order.

I don’t really know what he’s hoping to achieve by monitoring students, but this won’t address the real problems such as plagiarism, computer breaches, bribes or threats to supervisors, teachers and teacher assistants. If cheating is taking place inside an exam room, a camera will hardly make any difference, assuming whoever is monitoring is willing to report any cheating he detects. What about exam questions being leaked? students presenting on behalf of others?

On another note, it’s inadmissible for any ministry to request from public schools or any school for that sake to invest in a surveillance system, when the classrooms lack the most basic things including heating, decent desks, lockers, chairs, classroom boards and don’t get me started on the common areas and sports facilities!

All in all, fear-based control is wrong and surveillance cameras should only serve as a deterrence measure in case a professor needs evidence to decide whether a student has cheated or not, especially when there are over 100 or 200 students in one room, which is never the case during official exams here.