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Education minister lays out penalties for cheaters

A student looks for his results at a Phnom Penh high school last year after the completion of the national grade 12 exams.
A student looks for his results at a Phnom Penh high school last year after the completion of the national grade 12 exams. Pha Lina

Education minister lays out penalties for cheaters

Seeking to scare straight any would-be cheaters – teachers included – Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron held a press conference yesterday to lay out the sometimes-hefty punishments in store for anyone caught subverting the upcoming grade 12 national exams.

“If a teacher, the monitor, takes money from the [students] in exchange for providing the answers . . . we will punish them according to administrative and criminal laws,” Chuon Naron told reporters at a press conference yesterday.

“According to the criminal law, the perpetrator could face at least one year in prison.”

Chuon Naron added that education officials or teachers who have been selected to grade the exam and calculate the scores will also face the same punishments if they are caught enabling someone else to alter students’ answers.

Students who pay someone else to take their exam will fail automatically and won’t be allowed to take the exam for two years. Students caught using electronic devices will also fail automatically.

More than 90,000 students will be taking the high school exit exam on August 22 and 23, about 10,000 more than last year, Chuon Naron said.

This is the third year that the Anti-Corruption Unit will help enforce the crackdown on the rampant use of smartphones, cheat sheets and bribes common before the 2014 overhaul, which saw pass rates plummet.

Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said the monitoring has helped to reduce corruption, but warned officials to only use the monitoring as a “temporary solution”.

“I think we need to change the culture,” he said.

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