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Officials warned as exams near

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Hang Chuon Naron’s (centre) Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has warned of disciplinary action against officials who commit misconduct during this year’s Grade 12 exams. Post Pix

Officials warned as exams near

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport has warned of disciplinary action against education officials who commit misconduct during this year’s Grade 12 national examinations.

The ministry took to Facebook on Wednesday, reiterating its June 28 announcement that it will strive to “maintain order” during the final examinations of upper secondary students which will take place on August 19 and 20.

It urged the education officials to “fully enforce the laws and eliminate inactions”, saying: “The [officials] ought to fulfil their roles with utmost responsibility by respecting working hours, hierarchy and professional confidentiality, as well as upholding integrity, piety and neutrality while performing their assigned duties.”

It also underscored that the officials are obliged to adhere to “common interests”.

Speaking to The Post on Wednesday, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said it expected that “the test participants, officials, invigilators, assistants to invigilators, parents and all relevant parties would participate in ensuring the examination process is undertaken with high standards”.

“The ministry believes that candidates will be well informed and continue to follow the recommendations of His Excellency Hang Chuon Naron [the Minister of Education]. He previously said: ‘If you are capable, you shall pass.’

“Moreover, the ministry will put strict regulations in place,” Soveacha said.

The ministry announced on Tuesday that it would continue designating a wide range of education establishments, “ranging from public and private ones”, as exam centres.

In the case that an establishment in a province doesn’t satisfy the requirements, another establishment in the nearest province would be designated as the test centre, it added.

The Anti-corruption Unit (ACU) last week said it will not send observers to monitor this year’s Grade 12 national examinations despite having done so for the past five years.

In a written statement issued on June 27, the unit also recommended that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport improve its monitoring scheme by deploying more invigilators at each location of the tests.

It maintained that it would still collaborate with the Education Ministry “to solve all sorts of problems that might occur, such as corruption”.

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Sar Kheng stressed that maintaining transparency during the examination period was a “complex issue”.

Ouk Chhayavy, the president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (Cita), argued that in the past, disciplinary action was mostly imposed on lower-ranking officials.

She claimed that most corruption cases stemmed from misconduct committed by the higher layer of bureaucrats.

The ministry announced earlier this month that 119,217 candidates, including 61,031 girls and five disabled students, will be sitting for this year’s Grade 12 national examinations.

This year’s tests see an increase of 5,852 students compared to last year, Sar Kheng said.

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