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Society

Cheating Greek Students Paying Proxies to Take Their Online Exams

ATHENS – It sounds like what former US President Donald Trump was accused of doing – paying someone else to take college exams for him – but that reportedly is going on in Greece during COVID-19 lockdowns limiting teaching to online.

With Greek universities only holding classes, and exams remotely there is now a demand for graduates to – for a fee – “assist” students during the upcoming examinations by essentially taking their exams for them, said Kathimerini.

Professors are trying to find ways to prevent the practice although it wasn’t said how they could monitor scores or even hundreds of students taking exams in their own homes without watching them individually to determine they are who they are.

That has led, the paper said, to creative if cheating students countering with other methods to get good grades, including  taking screenshots of questions with a phone and then having them answered by someone else who may not even be in the room.

A 28-year-old physicist told Kathimerini he gets paid 100-150 euros ($120.82-$181.32) to take tests for paying students and a mathematician said he helped students cheat last spring, in several disciplines.

Neither was named by the paper, which also didn’t report whether they had confirmed their identities or turned them in to authorities for admitting they had aided a cheating scandal.

Cheating is not uncommon in Greek universities which have such lax standards that students can be admitted with failing grades on entrance exams, don’t have to attend classes or even graduate, able to stay students for life.

In September, 2013, more than 100 university students were caught in a mass cheating scandal at the University of Patras in Greece’s third-largest city although they weren’t suspended or expelled, only banned from taking their next exams.

"Of all the possible sanctions, this is the mildest," Associate Professor Yiorgos Androulakis told the news agency, students wielding unusual power in universities where they often take over buildings and classrooms and retaliate against teachers.

"They can catch up … students fail many classes in their first two years in any case,” he said and unlike universities in the United States and elsewhere, they are not bounced for being unable to pass tests.

Greek universities are ranked among the lowest in the European Union, plagued by student protests, staffing nepotism and poor infrastructure, the news agency noted.

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