Fifty arrested in Algeria's mass exam cheating scandal

Fifty arrested in Algeria's mass exam cheating scandal
Fifty people in Algeria have been arrested and 200 more issued with travel bans, after a mass exam cheating scandal sent shock waves through the country.
2 min read
05 June, 2016
Schools in Algeria have been plagued by a cheating scandal [AFP]
Algerian authorities have arrested fifty people suspected of being involved in a school examination cheating scandal which has rocked the country.

There are still no details whether students or teachers were arrested in the probe.

But authorities say the suspects have been accused of leaking and publishing questions to last week's baccalaureate exams which took place in Algerian schools.

Authorities also slapped travel bans on 200 people and expanded the investigation to 27 states in the country.  

Last week, officials announced that 13 Facebook pages had been monitored for leaking examination questions prior to the national test.  

It is the biggest cheating scandal to erupt in Algeria since exam questions were leaked in 1992 and led to the resignation of the then Education Minister Ahmed bin Mohammed.  

This time the government is also taking the matter seriously with Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal chairing an urgent meeting to discuss the matter, and included the prospect of fresh re-examinations in July.  

Education Minister Nuribh bin Gabrit also held a meeting with teaching unions - excluding one union representing secondary school teachers - who decided to boycott the meeting for reasons that are still not apparant.

Seven questions from the final baccalaureate exams were leaked online last week, provoking outrage in Algeria and confusion among students.

Political parties have demanded the resignation of the minister of education while unions demanded new examinations to be held after the holy month of Ramadan. 

Final exams in the Arab world are incredibly important as university places are competitive and jobs are scarce.

Multiple exam-cheating scandals have occured in various Arab countries this year. Iraq cut internet to the entire country for three hours in a bid to stop cheating in exam rooms.