Testing time: Dubai Modern High School’s Nad Al Sheba campus in Dubai

DUBAI: Three students of Dubai Modern High School hacked into their teacher’s computer and obtained question papers for the second term examinations, XPRESS can reveal.

The grade eight student hackers have been suspended and an investigation is underway, the school has confirmed.

“GEMS can confirm that three Dubai Modern High School grade 8 students have admitted accessing question papers for internal school examinations which were subsequently shared with other students. The school is unaware of which students received the question papers so has decided to conduct a reassessment for students in the grade levels affected. GEMS takes the issue of cheating very seriously as it goes against the values that all GEMS students are taught in school. The three students involved have been suspended immediately pending the results of an investigation which is continuing,” a GEMS spokesperson said in a statement issued to XPRESS.

A total of 120 students in different grade 8 batches have been affected by the question paper leak at the most expensive Indian school in the UAE. The GEMS-run school that offers pre-KG and KG-Grade 12 in CISCE curriculum charges tuition fees ranging from Dh26,000 to Dh42,000 per year. The school was ranked ‘outstanding’ in last year’s school inspections by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.

The grade eight students will have to sit for a re-examination. The new dates have not yet been announced by the school.

Unbelievable, say parents

The incident was described as ‘shocking’ by many parents and students interviewed by XPRESS. “It was a shock! I still cannot believe that children of 13 or 14 years could do such a daring act,” a parent said. A student said the issue has become the topic of discussion in the whole school. “We started our exams on November 4 and the last exam was on November 22. We didn’t know what happened but after the principal’s announcement, everyone is talking about it. I don’t know who the hackers are or who got suspended, but they must be tech-savvy to hack into the school’s IT system,” the student said. Another expatriate whose child is studying in grade eight said she was disappointed that the students have to redo the examination for no fault of theirs.

“He had studied so hard for the exam. Now we are obviously disappointed that he has to sit for the exam all over again. An announcement was made at the school that the question papers were leaked and hence a reassessment will be done. That seems to be the best available option now,” the mother of a grade eight student said.

A teaching staff at the Modern High School, on condition of anonymity, said they have not yet been able to assess whether the students hacked the computer from within the campus or from any other location outside. “We do not know how many students have gained access to the question papers. We cannot take their statements on face value. So the school has decided to withhold the results,” a high-school teacher said.