When you go to the doctor or dentist, you’d likely prefer one who not only studied for his exams but passed them with flying colors. You would probably be quite uneasy if you learned that the person holding your health and possibly life in his hands cheated on his exams.
Three Thai students hoping to enter the medical profession sat for a college exam Saturday, but instead of studying, they shelled out $30,000 for high-tech gadgets they allegedly used to receive the answers from a tutor, ABC Online reported.
The Thai students wore glasses whose frames hid wireless cameras. These sent images to a group of co-conspirators, who sent exam answers to the trio via smartwatches.
“The team did it in real-time,” said Arthit Ourairat, the rector of top Thai medical college Rangsit University. “We want this to be known in public to make people aware that we must be careful, particularly for medical exams where there is high demand among students but not many vacancies.”
The rector posted pictures of the equipment on Facebook. He said the scheme was the “most high-tech examination fraud that I have ever seen,” according to Khaosod English.
“If they had passed and graduated, we might have had illegal doctors working for us,” wrote one Thai Facebook user in response to the scandal.
“Wow, if they become doctors with such a corrupt method, just think what kind of doctors we will get once they graduate?” wrote another user, Sureeporn Boonjong. “Even if they graduate into cosmetic surgeons, they will definitely take advantage of people who seek their treatment.”
The medical profession is highly coveted in Thailand, as doctors there can rake in small fortunes in the private sector. The exam was a basic entrance exam to the college’s schools of medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry, and covered math, English, and biology.
The scheme was uncovered by an observant instructor who noticed during the exam that the cheaters were wearing “unusually thick” eyeglasses. They were questioned and caught and are now permanently barred from taking any exams to become doctors. It’s not clear if they’ve been barred from this particular college or all of them in the country.
The Thai men involved have been identified as Narong Bomboonnak, 26; Chalermwong Sodarattana, 21; and Chatchai Yowaphui, 22.
According to the Bangkok Post, the scheme was arranged through a private tutoring institute, or in this case, “cheating syndicate.” They provided the spy-grade camera glasses and smartwatches — for an ample fee — and allegedly sent the three conspirators to the medical college to attend the exam and collect questions.
The Post said only two wore glasses and the third waited outside to download the footage they filmed into a laptop and then email it to the tutoring institute. A team on that end gathered answers and sent them to the smartwatches.
The institute/syndicate promised a 100 percent success rate to their customers.
The medical college has voided the results from Saturday’s tests and has rescheduled 3,000 students to retake the test in a few weeks. Now, 27 universities under the umbrella of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT) are considering a ban on smartwatches during examinations.
Thai colleges have already imposed measures to prevent cheating, but CUPT president Udom Kachintorn said students keep inventing new and ingenious ways to cheat.
“I think our society has not taught children well enough to realise that cheating is a dangerous and serious matter, and parents haven’t done a good job when it comes to teaching values like honesty and integrity, so everybody needs to help address the problem.”
The alleged cheaters were taken to the local police station, but they haven’t been charged since cheating on a test isn’t a crime. However, the tutoring institute may be in trouble.
[Image via Arthit Ourairat Facebook]