Images of college students in the Philippines wearing ‘anti-cheating’ masks during exams goes viral on social media, sparking amusement.
Students at a college in Legazpi City were asked to wear headgear that would prevent them from being able to peek at other students’ work during their examinations.
So, when their tutor, Mary Joy Mandane-Ortiz asked their students to wear anti-cheating headgear, her students arrived on campus far more prepared than she had anticipated.
Mandane-Ortiz’s students at the Bicol University of Mechanical Engineering responded by creating homemade contraptions made from cardboard, egg boxes, and other recycled materials.
Sparked by the idea after seeing photos of anti-cheating hats at a school in Thailand on Facebook.
She too was looking for a “fun way” to ensure “integrity and honesty” in her classes, and the challenge of creating their own anti-cheating headgear proved a really effective way to engage her students.
But she hadn’t anticipated such whimsical headgear from her mechanical engineering students nor the overwhelmingly positive response she received from her photos as they went viral.
Whilst some students took more practical approaches, others chose more avant garde designs. One student walled himself off with egg cartons whilst another put tubes over his eyes to create literal tunnel vision.
Some chose to wear wigs, decorate boxes, or dressed up like anime characters whilst another student simply wore a motorcycle helmet.
“I was surprised because I simply requested [they make] a very simple one, but they made very creative ones,” she said.
The students wanted the midterm – which took place last week – to be as memorable as possible as they were excited to return for their first in-person exams after being homebound during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, a familiar reality for students all across the globe.
She hasn’t finished grading all of the exams yet, but Professor Mandane-Ortiz said her students finished their tests quickly and studied extra hard having been motivated by the “strict” exam regulations.
“I’m very proud of them,” she said. “I’m very happy because they’re very talented students. It’s supposed to be that the exam is stressful and fearful, but they made it more funny and wonderful. That’s why they excelled on our exam.”
A string of the professor’s Facebook posts – showing her students wearing their ridiculous and elaborate creations – garnered thousands of likes in a matter of days, and attracted coverage from Filipino media outlets.
They also reportedly inspired schools and universities in other parts of the country to encourage their own students to put together anti-cheating headwear.
The best thing about this idea? No students were caught cheating!