Cheating in school tests is an old Indian problem.

But the malpractice literally scaled new heights this week in the eastern state of Bihar when relatives of 10th-grade students climbed the wall of a school building and perched precariously from windows of classrooms as they handed cheat sheets to children writing the tests inside.

Videos also showed school inspectors slapping young girls as they pulled out cheat sheets from under their tables.

Cheating is common in schools in remote rural areas in India, where jobs and seats in college courses are few but competition is fierce. But the sight of parents risking their life and limbs to climb the walls shocked many Indians.

Under Bihar's anti-cheating law, dozens of 12th-grade students were expelled and their parents detained last month in cases of cheating in tests.

Many students in India drop out of school because they fail to pass the tough standardized tests in their 10th and 12th grades.

Education experts say that cheating is just a symptom of the deeper problems that plague India's education system, such as teacher absenteeism, emphasis on rote learning and inadequate school infrastructure.

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A recent study by the Pratham Education Foundation showed that only 48 percent of fifth-grade students could read a second-grade textbook.

Authorities expelled nearly 500 students from the tests, according to local media reports.