The two-day high school exams that took place over December 5-6 went smoothly, safely and with good order and behaviour by the candidates.
Ros Soveacha, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, said on December 6 that this year’s high school exams proceeded as planned with no serious issues and that this factor contributed to increased credibility for Cambodia's testing regimen.
“Overall, all exam centres reported that things went well and it was quiet and orderly. Exam candidates and staff all followed our four principles – law, justice, transparency and acceptable and trustworthy outcomes,” he said.
He continued that the candidates were patient and had confidence in taking the exams. No issues with obedience to traffic laws were reported though a few accidents took place.
A small number of candidates had experienced mild health problems in the process of taking their exams and will have to retest at a later date, but this is to be expected when there are over 100,000 people involved, he noted.
The ministry said specifically that 70 candidates had experienced health problems and four sustained mild injuries in traffic road accidents, while four others were suspected of having Covid-19. Three candidates could not sit for the exams due to health problems and 14 invigilators had experienced health problems.
“Some candidates experienced dizziness or vomiting and they received first aid from the standby medics at the exam centres so that they could return to complete their exams,” Soveacha said, adding that such cases are often due to nervousness rather than illness.
According to a December 5 press release, there were a total of 128,135 candidates at 221 exam centres with 5,174 test rooms. A total 2,400 candidates were absent from the exams.
The press release read that 17,240 invigilators, 2,756 trainee teachers, staff from the Anti-Corruption unit (ACU) and 2,700 observers had joined the education ministry in conducting the exams.
“The invigilators, the ACU, the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), medics and nurses, members of the armed forces and local authorities followed our guidelines mindfully and responsibly,” the ministry said.
Though it rained in some provinces, the weather had no affect on the process of the exams and the candidates abided by the exam rules well, with just one candidate disqualified for misbehaviour.
The exams wrapped up at 4:30pm on December 6. The answer sheets will be taken to Phnom Penh and teachers recruited for temporary assignment will mark them.
“Overall, it is in line with our main principle: Only those who are capable pass the exam," the ministry emphasised.
The outcome of the exams will be announced for Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal province on the afternoon of December 27 and then for the rest of the country on December 28.