Educators in Vietnam are trying to do their best to battle cheating, including establishing a hotline and allowing recording devices in exam rooms, as millions of candidates are taking admission tests in the 2013 national college entrance exam.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has stepped up their efforts against cheating in national exams since last year’s surfacing of videos that showed proctors watching and helping test-takers cheat on a national high school graduation exam in the northern province of Bac Giang.
This scandal sent shockwaves throughout the country and Bac Giang education authorities then disciplined 42 educators and school staff members, including the dismissal of a principal and two vice principals.
The two students who were later found having done the filming with pen cameras escaped punishment and passed the exam even though recording devices were banned in exam rooms then.
In the aftermath of this disgrace the ministry announced that students can bring cameras and audio and video recorders with them to future national exams in hopes this will deter cheating intentions.
The governmental body noted that these devices must be unable to display pictures, play the recorded files, receive audio and video signals on the spot, or transmit them out of exam rooms.
A list of banned devices like smartwatches have also been sent with illustrations to exam centers so that administrators can prevent candidates from carrying them into exam rooms.
Smartwatches that are banned in the 2013 national college entrance exam
Educators compiled the list following a cheating case at a Ho Chi Minh City University where a student was discovered reading cheat sheets on a smartwatch during his end-of-semester exam last month.
The ministry has also set up a mobile hotline, 0989 538 415, dedicated to receiving warnings of exam cheating from anyone in the education sector and the public.
“We want to add another supervisory channel so that everyone can take part in our war against academic dishonesty,” Nguyen Huy Bang, a MoET chief inspector, told Tuoi Tre.
MoET had earlier put a separate landline, 04 3868 2136, into operation for the same purpose, Bang added.
His boss, Minister Pham Vu Luan, is calling for everyone to report cheating to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org, in order to ensure fairness in education, Vietnam’s top priority.
“I have received many reports but none of them were on cheating signs,” Luan said, urging people to notify him via that email of any exam fraud to help ‘clean’ the educational system.
Vietnam annually requires those aspiring for a college education to pass tests in a national exam, unlike many other countries that recruit students for higher education based mainly on their high school performance.
Local students must sit for papers on a set of three subjects chosen from math, physics, chemistry, literature, history, geography, biology, and foreign languages to be admitted to the school of their choice.
About 1.6 million candidates registered to take the 2013 exam, with tests due on July 4 and 5 or 9 and 10, depending on each applicant’s major.