Can drones be used to curb exam cheating in Kenya?

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Cheating in Kenya is a daily norm in most schools. When I was in campus we used to say that ‘degree ni harambee.’ In examination rooms students used to discuss answers while others were courageous enough to carry handouts and notes to use as reference points. Students doing the national exams always make headlines annually as most of the schools and students conspire to cheat in exams.

In the 2014 K.C.S.E  exams five national schools were reported has having involved in exam cheating. “About 179 students were caught with mobile phones in the exam room yet they were clearly told not to carry them. Worse was that some school heads and teachers were at the forefront,” Kaimenyi said. The Ministry of education and the exam council put in place tough measures to curb exam cheating. The former President Kibaki signed the new Kenya National Examination Council Act which criminalizes possession of copies of exam papers by unauthorized persons before or during exams. In October, KNEC imposed a law stating that exam cheats will face a ten term in prison or a fine of 2 Million Shillings.

The government has tried to set measures that are entitled to curb exam cheating but students continue to cheat in exams. I believe the only strategy the National Examination Council should consider to copy China that has adopted the use of drones to catch cheaters. The drone is a hexarotor, it will scan for suspicious radio signals from exam-takers. While that  won’t stop any cheaters who use low-tech methods to get around difficult questions, it will detect any number of advanced methods that rely on the test-taker exchanging information with a second party outside the exam room. These methods include cameras hidden in glasses with transmitters hidden in water bottles, cell phones hooked up to flesh-colored wireless headphones and pen cameras that film the exam-takers’ test reports.

curb exam cheating

Drones curbing exam cheating – Image courtesy of PopSci

The anti-cheating drone hovers at 1600 feet above the ground and can travel 3000 feet from where it’s deployed. If it eavesdrops on a radio signal from one of these devices, the drone forwards the location to operators, who can see where that exam taker is on their mobile device. Reports Popular Science.  Cheaters who get caught can face legal penalties. In China its reported that the exam drone led to the arrest of 9 suspects in 2014.

Surveillance is the only tactic that can reduce cheating in Kenya, most universities use surveillance cameras like the Catholic University of East Africa, the cameras have been placed in most of the classes but students always come up with new techniques to cheat in exams.

CHECK THIS INTERESTING READ: Just abandon National Exams

What is your opinion on the topic?
Erick Vateta
Tech Editor at Kachwanya.com
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Erick Vateta is a lawyer by training, poet, script and creative writer by talent, a model, and tech enthusiast. He covers International tech trends, data security and cyber attacks.
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