BANGKOK – Students at Bangkok’s Kasetsart University appear to have been forced to wear helmets to prevent them from cheating during exams.
The picture, which was posted to Kasetsart University’s Facebook page and shows students from its Agro-Industry faculty sitting an exam, became an internet hit shortly after posting.
After a wave of negative as well as positive feedback, the Bangkok university decided to hold a press conference to explain how the hats came about.
The low-tech anti-cheating helmet invention doesn’t look sophisticated, but would function like horse blinkers and prevent wearers from glancing to the side — which should prevent any sneaky peeks at neighbours’ answers.
‘It was an agreement between us. No student was forced to wear a hat. Instead, all were happy to do so and thought it was fun. They felt more relaxed during the test,’ said Nattadon Rungruangkitkrai, a lecturer at the faculty.
‘It was not meant to indicate that Kasetsart students often cheat on exams. I apologise if the photo makes other people look at my students in a negative way.’
Some had commented on the Facebook picture saying it was humiliating or undignified.
Though keeping a straight face would have been hard – yet necessary under the circumstances – these students can be seen diligently getting on with their test.
Mr Nattadon also said that it would be the first – and last – time the hats are used, reported the Bangkok Post.
Kasetsart University is a public university, ranked one of the best in Thailand and with a focus on agriculture, food, technology and innovation.
It seems the anti-cheating helmet has caught on, with Weerachai Phutdhawong, a University of Agricultural Sciences associate professor, posting photos of several versions on Facebook.