A school has come under fire for forcing its students to wear cardboard boxes on their heads to stop them from cheating during an exam.

A SCHOOL in India has come under fire for forcing its students to wear cardboard boxes over their heads to stop them from cheating during an exam.

Shocking images circulated on social media show the students at Bhagat Pre-University College in Haveri, Karnataka state, sitting in rows with the boxes over their heads, cut open at one side.

The college was criticised for the unorthodox measure to prevent students from copying their neighbour's work.

The photos were reportedly posted on Facebook by a staff member and they quickly went viral, with many people left outraged at the practice.

Officials have since issued a public apology, with college administrator MB Satish admitting the school had only implemented the boxes on an 'experimental basis' after seeing it being done elsewhere.

“There was no compulsion of any kind. You can see in the photograph that some students were not wearing it,” he told BBC Hindi.

“Some who wore it removed it after 15 minutes, some after 20 minutes and we ourselves asked them to remove it after one hour.”

Regional officials reportedly condemned the move after hearing about it.

S. Suresh Kumar, the state education minister, said in a tweet that the school's practice was “unacceptable.”

“Nobody has any right to treat anybody, more so students, like animals,” Kumar wrote. “This (perversion) will be dealt with aptly.”

The deputy director of the local pre-University Education Board, SC Peerjade, described the practice as “inhumane”.

The college is now complying with the school board's directive and has abandoned the boxes. – Daily Mail