Morocco’s Ministry of Education developed a law in 2016 to punish students who cheat during baccalaureate exams.
Rabat – Security operations carried out across Morocco throughout the month of June have led to the arrest of 14 suspects for their alleged possession and trafficking of materials and electronic tools used for cheating in the baccalaureate exams.
Moroccan police carried out five separate operations in June, in Sale, Temara, Agadir, Oujda, and Meknes, said a statement from Morocco’s General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).
The operations targeted advertisements on social networks and ecommerce websites promoting electronic chips used to receive phone calls and connect to a headset. The advertisements specifically targeted Moroccan students, promoting the usage of the electronic tools for cheating the baccalaureate exams.
Baccalaureate exams—the final high school exams that qualify students to universities and higher education institutions—are set to begin in Morocco on July 3.
Search operations allowed the confiscation of 345 electronic chips of different types, as well as a dozen headphones, batteries, and chargers, DGSN’s statement said.
Police also seized laptops and telephones carrying digital tracks of online transactions that stemmed from the alleged trafficking operations, the statement added.
“These operations are part of the preparations and proactive security operations carried out by DGSN, at regional and central levels, aimed at ensuring, on the one hand, the smooth running of school exams and, on the other hand, fighting against the trafficking and use of tools and materials used in fraud,” the document concluded.
Cheating has always been a practice that many Moroccan students opt for in fear of failing baccalaureate exams—considered to be the most important exams for the majority of Moroccans. However, in recent years, cheating methods became more innovative, especially as technological devices and the internet became more accessible.
The new cheating techniques led the Moroccan Ministry of National Education to develop a legal framework for punishing fraudsters during baccalaureate exams.
According to Law 02-13, adopted in 2016, students who use fake identity documents to take the baccalaureate exam in the place of another candidate can face one month to one year in prison, in addition to a fine ranging from MAD 5,000 ($515) to MAD 10,000 ($1,030).
Exchanging information with other students or with exterior sources during the exam period, either in writing, orally, or through other tools, can earn students a fine of MAD 2,000 ($206) to MAD 5,000 ($515).
Meanwhile, any suspect, student or not, who leaks baccalaureate exams before their end can spend three months to two years in prison and pay a MAD 1,000 ($103) to MAD 20,000 ($2,060) fine.