An allegedly drunken lecturer in central Russia forced students to sit an exam for 23 hours, and forbid them to even leave the examination hall to use the toilet, national media said on Tuesday.
“Towards the end, everyone was just sitting there, totally exhausted,” a student told the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper. “The lecturer would go into another room, drink, come back and start telling us about her business.”
Other students said the lecturer “stank of alcohol.”
The marathon exam took place on June 26 at Kazan University, in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan. It began at 10 in the morning and ended at 9 the next day.
The lecturer involved, Landysh Zaripova, has refused to comment.
Examinations in Russia are oral, rather than written, and students are required to answer questions to the lecturer’s satisfaction in order to pass.
Zaripova’s boss, head of the university physics department, Albert Aganov, denied that the lecturer had been inebriated. “I would have fired her immediately, if I had seen her drunk.”
He also said long exams “were not unusual.”
Russia has a catastrophic problem with alcohol abuse. According to the Russian Ministry of Health, the per capita consumption of pure alcohol is around four gallons per person. Tens of thousands of Russians die of alcohol poisoning every year.
In the United States, which has a population over twice as large, the number of deaths from alcohol poisoning remains stable at around 300 every year.