15 arrested for producing and selling gaokao cheating devices

By Jessica McGovern, December 13, 2013

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15 people have been arrested in Wuhan, Hubei province for producing and selling electronic equipment designed for cheating in the National College Entrance Exam.

On December 10, the suspects were detained following a six month investigation. Police say they were selling the equipment in more than 20 provinces and had made over 10 million yuan ($1.65 million) from the cheating aids.

The National College Entrance Exam, also known as gaokao, is a notoriously tough nine-hour exam sat by graduating high school students all over China. The final year of school is almost entirely focussed on the exam, which decides into which university students will be accepted (if at all). In 2011 one teenager committed suicide after being denied entrance to the exam for arriving 15 minutes late.

Cheating has become a widespread problem in the gaokao. In June authorities tried to crack down on cheating at Zhongxiang No.3 High School, also in Hubei, leading to a riot with over 2,000 participants. “We want fairness. There is no fairness if you do not let us cheat," they chanted.

A recent series of reform policies have pushed to reduce reliance on exam scores and introduce other standards of evaluation. Other proposed changes include the removal of the English language section of the exam.

[Image via Wikipedia]

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