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2011年3月 5日 (土)

予備校生逮捕 入試不正解明し対策に生かせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 5, 2011)
Get to bottom of exam cheating case
予備校生逮捕 入試不正解明し対策に生かせ(3月4日付・読売社説)

A 19-year-old preparatory school student was arrested Thursday in connection with a case in which entrance exam questions from Kyoto University and three other universities were posted on an Internet bulletin board site during the exam.

The male student, who was arrested on a charge of fraudulently interfering with Kyoto University's operations, reportedly told police that he acted alone and he "just wanted to pass" the exams.

How could the student use a cell phone to post exam questions on Yahoo Japan's Chiebukuro Web site--and see the answers sent back during the exams--without being detected by proctors? How did he come up with the idea of illicitly using the Internet during the exams? We hope the police will get to the bottom of this case and the student's motives.

Chiebukuro (pearls of wisdom) is a question-and-answer site. A user posts a question on the site, and then other users post answers. Replies often come in a short time; this usability has made the site very popular. The arrested student allegedly had used Chiebukuro previously.


Exam system shaken

The student is of a generation who are Internet-savvy and skilled at using cell phones. He may have turned to the Internet to make up for his own lack of knowledge. But his actions trampled all over the sincere efforts being made by other examinees.

His attempt to cheat could shake the very foundations of the university entrance exam system, which is supposed to be fair for everyone.

There are, however, no laws that penalize the act of cheating in an exam itself. Because of this, the police investigation is being conducted on the charge applied to crimes listed in the Penal Code as obstructing someone's business through fraudulent acts such as deceiving others.

It is important that by learning lessons from the latest incident, steps be taken to ensure similar misconduct is not repeated.

Universities have instructed examinees to switch off their mobile phones and put them in their bags during exams. The latest case apparently caught them completely unawares.


Universities take action

After the latest incident came to light, some universities began keeping test-takers' cell phones during the test or having examinees turn off their phones and place them in clear view on their desks.

Some universities will even hold their exams in smaller venues than originally planned so examinees can be more easily watched.

The possibility of test rooms being fitted with a device that jams mobile communications and prevents the use of cell phones has received increasing attention.

In South Korea, a large group of students used cell phones in an organized attempt to cheat on a university entrance exam in 2004. Since then, examinees have been prohibited from bringing cell phones and digital cameras to exam venues. Anyone who violates this rule can face punishments including disqualification for one year from taking the exam.

Such precedents may be helpful guidelines as Japan tries to prevent a recurrence of unfair use of the Net by test-takers.

Misusing information devices to cheat in entrance exams could happen again. With that assumption in mind, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry needs to consider countermeasures while seeking advice from experts in a broad range of fields.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 4, 2011)
(2011年3月4日01時18分  読売新聞)


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