Israel’s national parent group has condemned new guidelines by the Education Ministry designed to ensure there will be no cheating on final exams.
The regulations call for student “lockdown” during the 45 minutes prior to the start of the Bagrut exams, which are similar to New York’s Regent exams.
Students will not be allowed to have access to their cell phones but will be allowed to study for the exams with regular study materials.
The National Parent Association stated its regret that the ministry chose not to consult or cooperate with its group. “The decision on the new guidelines is far-reaching and presents severe harm to students during their matriculation exams – the most sensitive and stressful time of their school year.”
Last week the Education Ministry explained that although officials realized the decision would cause “discomfort and unrest, and it is not perfect or ideal” the strategy had been reached “after examining all the other options, [and] analyzing the risks and chances they could be implemented.”
Ultimately, the ministry “found that this decision was the right one for the time being,” and maintained that “the rights of the students to take the matriculation exams be upheld.”
The lockdown strategy that is so vehemently being debated is designed ensure that students do not have time to access information about the exam while the questionnaire is being printed by school officials.
It comes in the wake of repeated incidents of cheating on the exams in various schools and population sectors.
This year’s questionnaire will be sent directly to the schools electronically via the Internet prior to the exam.