Vietnam teacher leaks test questions to neighbor as 'return of favor'

The act of paying gratitude led to exam cancelations across the province

Students leave the school following the exam cancelation in Dong Thap, southern Vietnam, on May 9, 2017.

A teacher in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta believed that leaking questions of a final examination to the son of a neighbor who has greatly supported him in life is the best way to pay his gratitude forward.

On May 9, eleventh graders at schools across Dong Thap Province were ready to sit for their math and history final tests when they were informed that the exams were canceled in the last minutes as the questions had been leaked online the night before.

Police had launched a probe into the leak, and announced on Friday that Bui Ngoc An, one of the teachers with access to the test papers before the exams, was behind the leak.

On May 6, An, 54, deliberately took the math and history questions to his home and later handed them to L.T.T., one of his neighbors and the boss of his wife, according to police investigation.

With T. having hugely helping the teacher’s family, An wanted to help her son, who is bad at math and history, to earn good results at the upcoming tests as a return of favor.

Upon receiving the test papers from An, T. asked her son to note down every question into a separate sheet of paper before burning all the ‘precious’ documents.

What the three had not expected was that An’s own son, a college student, had come across the test papers before the teacher brought them to T. and had secretly took photos of the documents.

The college student then sent the test questions to Th., one of his friends, who is also an 11th grader, via Facebook Messenger.

Th. quickly shared the test papers among his classmates, and the documents were secretly leaked to other students of his school and eventually, all high schools in Dong Thap.

The incident was only known to teachers and the province’s education authorities after a student named Nguyen Phuoc D. publicly shared the leaked questions on Facebook on the night of May 8.

Photo of the leaked test paper
Photo of the leaked test paper

The provincial education department was immediately briefed of the situation that night and decided to cancel the math and history tests the following morning.

Students were later arranged to sit for the tests with back-up questions.

‘Deeply grateful’

The ‘question leaker’ has admitted all his faults when summoned to work with police.

The teacher, however, could breathe a sigh of relief as police have confirmed that he would not be criminally charged as the incident was detected and handled properly before leading to any serious consequences.

An told Tuoi Tre on Friday that he was so deeply grateful to T. that he had such a shallow thought when leaking the questions to her son.

“I had only wanted to help him well-prepared before the exam,” the teacher said.

An said he is ready to receive any punishment or disciplinary action.

“I regret what I have done and feel ashamed to the education sector, to my school, colleagues and students.”

Dong Thap education department is still considering the punishment for individuals involved in the incident, department head Tran Thanh Liem said on Friday.

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