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Students involved in test-score cheating to face expulsion: Vietnam education minister

Monday, April 22, 2019, 17:05 GMT+7
Students involved in test-score cheating to face expulsion: Vietnam education minister
Phung Xuan Nha, Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training. Photo: V.H. / Tuoi Tre

Students who were involved in a test-score manipulation scandal in the 2018 National High School Examination in Vietnam will face expulsion from their respective higher education institutions, Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in an interview.

Results of the National High School Examination, held each year around June, are used to determine whether a student qualifies for graduation from high school and act as a placement test for colleges and universities in Vietnam.

In the 2018 exam, hundreds of exam papers from the three northern provinces of Ha Giang, Son La, and Hoa Binh were found to have been manipulated by officials in order to alter the scores of dozens of students.

So far, criminal investigations have been launched against more than a dozen officials and police officers in the three provinces on charges of abusing powers and positions while performing duties.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security was the first to take action against exam cheaters, by expelling from Hanoi-based police academies under its management those students whose scores were raised, it said in a statement on April 9.

Some other universities followed suit by announcing they would also dismiss students whose real scores did not meet admission requirements.

Police officers announce the arrest and prosecution of an education official in Son La Province in northern Vietnam in this still photo taken from a police video.

Police officers announce the arrest and prosecution of an education official in Son La Province in northern Vietnam in this still photo taken from a police video.

“However, there remain 12 students whose re-evaluated scores are still enough for them to get into their respective universities of choice,” said Minister Nha.

“In this case, they are being allowed to continue their study while awaiting investigation results,” he added.

If these students are found to have been involved in the cheating process, they will be handled “in accordance with provisions of the law," Nha said.

“The education ministry’s viewpoint is that strict measures, including expulsion, must be taken against candidates who were actively involved in exam cheating as concluded by investigators,” the education minister stressed.

The official said the education ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Public Security to identify and bring to light every link in the test-score manipulation ring.

Minister Nha added it “pained” him to learn that many students whose scores were changed in the high-profile cheating scandal are children of provincial leaders and officials, many of them working in the education sector.

“It’s a violation not only of the law but also of the code of ethics for educators,” he said.

“We are determined to remove these officials from the education sector."

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