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Education officials get off with lenient rap for exam violations

An education official hands tests to students at Sisowath High School in Phnom Penh during the 2016 national high school exams in August.
An education official hands tests to students at Sisowath High School in Phnom Penh during the 2016 national high school exams in August. Pha Lina

Education officials get off with lenient rap for exam violations

Despite warnings of dire consequences, nine staff members singled out for violating rules during the national Grade 12 exam will face only light punishments, the Education Ministry said yesterday – an action at least one transparency NGO said would “not deter other public officials from potentially committing corruption”.

The punishments stem from one bribery case, three cases of illegal mobile phone use during the exam, one case where a teacher asked someone to handle her monitoring duties and four cases of duties being fulfilled “carelessly”, the ministry said.

The unnamed individuals will face such punishments as verbal or written reprimands, being banned from monitoring exams or the elimination of promotions.

That’s not enough, said Pech Pisey, director of programs at Transparency International Cambodia, who said they are not being held accountable under the law.

“The light punishment indicates an inability of relevant authorities to properly enforce the law, which enables impunity to thrive,” he said.

Ministry officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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