The two-day nationwide grade-12 exams wrapped up yesterday with just a few hiccups, and fewer students caught trying to cheat than ever before, with ministry officials saying students are now aware of tough regulations imposed to prevent fraud.
Over the two days, 1,647 students were absent out of the 101,410 who registered to take the test, according to ministry spokesman Ros Salin. A total of 4,578 Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) members and volunteers helped monitor the tests.
“During these two days, the situation was pretty much better than previous years,” Salin said, adding that there were no major incidents that interrupted the examinations.
This was the fourth year the ACU helped monitor the exam in an effort to curb once widespread cheating and corruption. During the first year of the reforms in 2014, the passage rate plummeted from 87 percent to just over 25 percent.
Last year, 62 percent of students earned passing grades. A statement from the ministry said students respected the new regulations and “almost no students brought along cheating materials”. In all, there were 13 student violations reported.
Five cases of misconduct involving education officials were also reported.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said now that reforms are starting to bear fruit, he would like to see similar measures in the grade-9 and university graduation exams.
“We hear that plenty of cheating happens during the graduation exam,” he said.