ROME (Reuters) - Mobile phone-savvy teenagers tempted to cheat on exams by sending text messages or scanning pictures of tests could be thwarted by a device that jams signals inside the school walls.
The Enrico Tosi Technical Institute school in northern Italy has found a way to foil the next generation of would-be cheats with the help of military technology.
"Most schools try and confiscate phones before exams, but this way we can be sure nobody slips through," said Benedetto Di Rienzo, the head of the school in Busto Arsizio which is testing the devices for the Education Ministry during exams this week.
The box-like units, called C-Guard, were developed by experts from the military and defense industries for Netline Communications Technologies. They jam signals in a 262-foot radius in enclosed spaces.
They could eventually be installed across Italy to prevent cheating during university exams.
Di Rienzo said they have been so successful that the school plans to start using them during regular classes -- a measure likely to ruffle feathers in mobile phone-obsessed Italy where not even the teachers like to be left incommunicado.
"We hope to keep complaints to a minimum by turning the instruments off during lunch breaks," he said.