Uzbekistan 'halts mobile Internet, SMS' for exam day

August 2, 2011
Mobile operators in Uzbekistan suspended Internet and messaging services during the nationwide university entrance exams
A man reads a text message on his cell phone. Mobile operators in Uzbekistan suspended Internet and messaging services for the duration of nationwide university entrance exams Tuesday in an apparent bid to prevent cheating, a report said.

Mobile operators in Uzbekistan suspended Internet and messaging services for the duration of nationwide university entrance exams Tuesday in an apparent bid to prevent cheating, a report said.

Five national shut down mobile Internet and text and picture messaging for four hours from 9:00 am (0400 GMT), citing "urgent maintenance work on ," gazeta.uz reported.

Voice services were not affected, the website said. The restrictions affected not just those taking tests, but all of the country's estimated 19 million .

"Restrictions on additional services are introduced by mobile operators in Uzbekistan every year on the day of admission test exams," the Russian-language website said.

Reports suggested that authorities feared students may use mobile Internet and text-messaging to cheat on their exams. Police conduct a thorough search for phones and cheat sheets before students enter a university building.

Uzbekistan is a former Soviet republic, the most populous in Central Asia with a population of 28 million people.

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bottomlesssoul
5 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2011
When I taught in China we estimated >25% of high school students used SMS to "improve" their grades.
Birthmark
not rated yet Aug 03, 2011
If large percentage of students are having to cheat, something is wrong with the way we are teaching. Instead, we blame the cheaters.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Aug 03, 2011
If large percentage of students are having to cheat, something is wrong with the way we are teaching.

Should we really always dumb down teaching to the lowest common denominator? I think it is quite acceptable to have a number of students/applicants fail.

Students must become aware (again) that getting an education does not mean that they just sit there and absorb whatever the teacher says, but that teaching must always be accompanied by learning (which is an activity that is solely the responsibility of the student - and which requires ACTIVE participation in the process)

As for the problem in the article. Having the exams in a few centralized places and using freely available mobile jamming devices would be much less disruptive to the national mobile grid.
Bob_Kob
not rated yet Aug 03, 2011
I don't think jamming devices are legal
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Aug 03, 2011
If used in a legal setting they can be. I think some countries use them in courts. But I have to admit, I'm not all that hip to the legal situation in Uzbekistan.

The wikipedia site does not list Uzbekistan as one of the illegal/legal countries:

http://en.wikiped...galities

China seems to use them to thwart cheating. Other countries consider them illegal but use them in churches, hospitals etc.
Birthmark
not rated yet Aug 04, 2011
@ antialias_physorg, I said large percentage. I agree, of course there will always be some who drop out or fail, but if a large percentage of people are, the teaching, funding for education, mentality of the society, and other aspects are probably distorted.

I don't think apathy is always a conscious choice -- if it was then all countries would have equal drop outs, but there are countries such as in Europe like Denmark and Sweden where education is higher than us, and places in second/third/fourth world countries where drop outs are too common. This is a bigger issue than teachers and/or participation.

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