FROM June 16-18 over 22,000 senior high school students will sit their graduate
examinations administered by the Ministry of Education.
will also administer exams for 60,000 secondary high school students on July 12
and 160,000 primary school students on June 21 .
In the last few years
these examinations have been fraught with increasing amounts of large scale
bribery, cheating and intimidation, with the collaboration of many teachers and
Education Ministry employees who occupied important supervisory positions in
Some of the bribing and cheating methods are
outlined by an eleventh grade math teacher who sought anonymity in an interview
with the Post.
He said: "The principal examination supervisor, sent from
the Ministry of Education, had many ways of being corrupt because he controlled
all aspects of the testing process, oversaw both the students sitting the test
and the markers who corrected the students' papers.
usually just monitored the exam. If they wanted to be corrupt they normally had
to collaborate with the principal supervisor.
"The teachers would act as
middlemen. A student would give the teacher his student number and a bribe. The
teacher would keep 10 to 15 percent of the money and give the rest to the
principal supervisor. The supervisor would then pay the exam marker a small fee,
and the marker would then pass the exam paper with the relevant student number
"Alternatively students could go directly through the principal
supervisor. The students would inscribe distinctive symbols on their exam papers
which the supervisors would alert the markers to watch for when correcting
"The principal supervisor could also give some pupils secret
student numbers, and then instruct the markers to give these papers very high
"Many students prepared cheat notes to take into the examinations
to help them pass.
"Other enterprising students who had good scholastic
ability could make hundreds of dollars during an examination. They could do a
two hour exam paper in 30 minutes. They would carry carbon paper into the
examination and make copies of their answers and then sell the copies to other
students while the exam was still in progress!"
"The teachers often
caught students cheating but preferred not to make trouble. Some teachers were
worried by student threats.
"The current bribe rate to pass this year's
examinations, called Hang Chheng meaning exchange rate, is between $200-$250. It
is for a graduate pass in five subjects."
"The corruption has become so
bad that many teachers say it is the major deterrent to student learning.
"Some teachers say their students are no longer studying or even bothering to
coming to class."
Earlier the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport had a
pre-test exam to survey students' ability. Only 8% could pass the test.