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Medical students in graft rally

F ACULTY of medicine students rallied in front of the Ministry of Health to denounce end of year examination results because of corruption.

The students are claiming the examination results are null and void. They are demanding, despite many having failed their examinations, to be all allowed to automatically proceed to the next year level of study without sitting further tests.

But the Under Secretary of State for Health Dr Narong Rith Dy said he found no confirmed proof of corruption in this year's exams.

He claimed only 30 percent of the 1,000 students passed this year's examinations whereas previously 90 to 100 percent passed because of corruption.

This year faculty of medicine teachers prepared sample examination questions which they were suppose to freely give to all students to assist them in their study preparation for the end of year exams, according to students.

But they claimed that some teachers were accused of selling the sample questions to the students, others were accused of only giving the sample questions to particular students in the class, and others were accused of preparing sample questions which were virtually identical to the actual examination papers.

The students claim to have supplied Co-Premier Prince Norodom Ranariddh with prima facie proof of this corruption.

One student, who requested anonymity, said the students all wanted to be automatically passed not because they did not want to be tested but as compensation for the corruption and to warn the government to stop it occurring.

But the government appears unlikely to accede to the student demands. Dr Dy said some were lazy and also angry because they could not pass the exams.

He added that he would not automatically pass the students because he wanted to raise the quality of Cambodian doctors to that of other countries.

The Ministry of Health has offered students who failed the opportunity to sit supplementary examinations to pass the subjects.

The students claim it is too late to prepare for this second round of testing, but Dr Dy said he has delayed the supplementary exams for an extra month to give the students extra time to prepare. But the students are refusing to sit the second exams.

At the Sept 13 rally Dr Dy, using a microphone, addressed over 200 angry students from the safety of a second floor window inside the Health Ministry building.

He claimed to the Post that he would not go and meet the students outside because he was worried they may hurt him.

He told the students: "You say there was corruption, of course you should have the proof. But you have no good evidence.

"You see, if you say a dog is crazy and you just kill it, this is wrong. We have to catch it and find out whether it is crazy or not....

"All the things you gave to the first Prime Minister and other people were created [fictitiously by yourselves]. How can we believe you?"

An active student raised up a microphone and shouted: "I thank you [Dr Dy] very much, you so welcome us... I am happy that you so dare to respond to us from a hidden room. Please come [outside], there is enough security. Don't be scared....

"You told us at the Faculty that you accepted there was some corruption, but when you talked with Prince Ranariddh you said that you could not find any proof. How come your minds always changes...

Dr Dy told the Post at present there was no solution to the impasse between the students and the Ministry of Health.



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