More than 4,000 young people from across the country sat for the military entrance exam yesterday, an assessment that will see the top 620 applicants join the ranks of the Kingdom’s military forces through what officials called a “transparent and fair” admission process.
According to deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Ith Sarath, 4,280 students took the exam in six centres located throughout the country. Meanwhile, Hun Manet, eldest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen and a lieutenant general in the RCAF, insisted reforms had been made to ensure the process was free of graft.
“Our committee has taken many measures to get rid of any irregularity … ranging from procedures in application, selection, testing and marking … to ensure the exam is transparent and fair,” he said.
Mao Chanchao, a 21-year-old student, said after the exam that it was conducted in a “proper” manner and that questions covered such topics as history, geography, math and the sciences. He added that “we have not heard about students complaining of bribery and cheating”.
Meanwhile, Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said via email that while it was “encouraging” that measures had been to stamp out graft, there was no guarantee of effectiveness “without proper oversight”.
“There were reports of irregularities, briberies and nepotism in the previous entrance exams so if the Recruitment Committee could ensure such bad practices be effectively prevented this time, it is a huge improvement.”
Additional Reporting by Joey Chua Xue Ting