While the ministry was holding a press conference on June 4 to announce that the high-school graduation exams had taken place under the strictest observations, a clip was being broadcast simultaneously on the Internet showing an actual scene inside an examination room in the northern province of Bac Giang.
|A scene from the Internet clip showing students of Doi Ngo High School using cheat sheets during their graduation exam ( Photo: SGGP)|
The clip showed that invigilators had left their duty in the exam room to step outside to chat, leaving the field wide open for students to use cheat sheets. In the clip, some teachers were also shown offering answer papers to students.
Soon after the clip was posted on the Internet, concerned agencies swung into action to verify the location and the culprits. They found that the clips were taken during a chemistry exam at the Doi Ngo Private High School in Bac Giang Province on June 2.
Nguyen Duc Hien, director of the local department of education and training, stepped in to investigate the case. He asked the inspectors and chairman of the examination panel to view the clip, who all agreed that the invigilators in the clip were actually those supervising the exam at the Doi Ngo High School on the said date.
Hien said that Bac Giang education authorities had temporarily suspended the Doi Ngo exam council chairman. Other related people will also not be allowed to participate in the process of correcting exam papers until the investigation is over.
The local education department has already sent its report to the People’s Committee and the Ministry of Education and Training, and has asked for instructions to penalise the students involved in this episode.
On June 5, Nguyen Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training, told a Sai Gon Giai Phong reporter that the ministry had ordered all related agencies and the police to investigate the Internet clip recording and promised strict action against those who were involved in examination irregularities.
On June 6, police in Luc Nam District of Bac Giang Province questioned the two students who had shot the six minute clip. Police are also investigating if the persons who gave answer papers to the students in the examination room were staff members of the examination council or outside persons.
In an initial investigation, Nguyen Van Don, the Doi Ngo exam council chairman and deputy head of Ly Thuong Kiet High School, identified the invigilators as high school teachers Ly Thuong Kiet and Luc Ngan No.2.
At the press conference, when reporters asked how the ministry would protect the students who had filmed the clip, Nguyen Vinh Hien, Deputy Minister of Education and Training, said students’ right to denounce wrongdoings would be respected, however they had violated rules as they had taken cameras inside the examination room.
Lawyer Truong Trong Nghia, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Bar Association, said in a talk with Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper that the education sector should not impose penalties on the clip maker as an act of wrong doing.
Nghia proposed that the teachers be prosecuted for breach of faith and trust.
Similarly, Than Van Khoa, chairman of People’s Council of Bac Giang Province, said a thorough investigation is need before deciding whether the students had actually broken examination rules.
|According to the police, Do Viet Khoa, a teacher known for his fight against cheating in exams, posted the six minute clip on the Internet, which he received from Do Danh Ngoc, a former gym teacher of Doi Ngo Private High School. |
Khoa, based in Ha Tay Province (now part of Hanoi), has been known to send similar videos to the country’s education watchdog as well as the media in past years to reveal malpractices in the education sector.
After being informed of the corruption amongst teachers in Bac Giang Province, Khoa and some honest teachers encouraged a few students to film the examination room while teachers indulged in cheating malpractices as a proof to catch them in the act.