Algeria completely turns off Internet to buckle down on exam cheating

Two years ago, Algeria made an unusual move to end cheating on standardized tests by temporarily blocking student access to Facebook and other social media websites.

But now Algerian schools have decided that this method is simply not enough -- and the country is going further by effectively cutting off access to the Internet nationwide.

The country has announced that its Internet service -- through June 25 -- will go down an hour after the start of each of the high school diploma exams, which are expected to be taken by more than 700,000 students, according to the BBC.


Last year, officials tried to negotiate with internet service providers to diminish social media access, but their efforts failed.

Nouria Benghabrit, Algeria's education minister, told Algerian newspaper Annahar that Facebook also would be blocked across the country through the entire week of exams, the BBC reported.

While not fully comfortable with the decision, Benghabrit believes “we should not passively stand in front of such a possible leak.”

In an effort to keep electronic devices with Internet access out of classrooms, metal detectors also reportedly have been set up at 2,000 exam sites.

Elsewhere, authorities in China have even deployed drone technology to prevent exam cheating.