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​Education official detained for meddling with Vietnam’s national exam results

Friday, July 20, 2018, 16:53 GMT+7

Police in Ha Giang Province in northern Vietnam has detained a local education official for abusing his power and assigned duty to tamper with results of the 2018 National High School Exam.

Vu Trong Luong, deputy head of the testing and quality assurance division under Ha Giang’s Department of Education and Training, is accused of adjusting the scores on 330 test papers belonging to 114 candidates in less than one day while operating a computer that stored exam results.

Luong, 39, was arrested and put in detention on Friday morning after Ha Giang police launched legal proceedings against him on charges of abusing his power and authority while performing public duty.

The decision came hot on the heels after police in Ha Giang on Thursday launched criminal investigation into the unprecedented test-score manipulation scandal, two days after discovering the illegal activity.

The official’s alleged crime was uncovered this week after state inspectors had around 5,500 exam papers in the province re-marked following reports of suspiciously high results achieved by local candidates.

The inspection found the scores were raised by up to 8.75 points out of ten for each test paper, officials said at a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

Ministry of Education and Training officials inspect a testing venue in Ha Giang Province during the 2018 National High School Examination. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Ministry of Education and Training officials inspect a testing venue in Ha Giang Province during the 2018 National High School Examination. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Results of the National High School Examination, held every year around June, are used to determine whether a student qualifies for graduation from high school and acts as a placement test for college and university entrance.

This year, nearly one million candidates took part in the three-day exam from June 25 to 27, where they sat for tests in math, literature, foreign languages, physics, chemistry, biology, history, geography, and civics.

Police also found multiple text messages on Luong’s cell phone containing candidate IDs of those whose test results he was asked to adjust.

A Ministry of Public Security official directly involved in the investigation considers Luong’s action “very difficult to be carried out alone”, as the test-scoring process is monitored by different parties.

Investigators are looking into Luong’s motive and whether he had any accomplices.

Among those benefiting from the score raise are daughter of Trieu Tai Vinh, the Party chief of Ha Giang, and children of many provincial officials.

Many of them are applying for military and police schools, which are among the most difficult institutions to get into in Vietnam, according to local daily Thanh Nien (Young People).

Since the scandal in Ha Giang made national headlines, suspicion has also been raised on exam results in a drove of other Vietnamese provinces.

The Ministry of Education and Training has dispatched delegations of inspectors to the northern provinces of Son La and Lang Son to investigate on the rumors.

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Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre News

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