Anti-Cheating Center Opened

Minister of Education Tol Lah on Tuesday opened the head­­quarters for the ministry’s war against cheating in school exams.

The Examinations Office in­cludes a high-security storehouse, where exam papers can be printed and stored in locked metal boxes, ready for shipment to test centers, said Ken Gannicott, head of the Cambodia-Australia Nation­al Examinations Project.

It also houses a computer lab to handle a new barcode system for registering test-takers. The barcode minimizes the chances of cheaters trying to change test re­sults, Gannicott said. And since ex­aminers won’t know whose paper they are marking, they will as­sess student’s work more ob­jectively.

The system also means test in­formation can be fed directly into a computer, allowing the ministry to quickly develop a sophisticated database of exam results.

The $65,000 building is part of an ongoing Australian-funded project to make Cam­­bodian exams fair and uniform.

In the past, Cambodian schools were notorious for widespread cheating.

Exam papers were stolen and sold to students, and exam monitors were bribed. Par­ents paid off police to pass notes to their children through windows. Others threw answers tied to rocks into exam rooms, sometimes injuring students and teachers.

In exams earlier this year, the ministry stepped up security, setting up police cordons to keep crowds well away from exam centers and introducing stiffer penalties for exam monitors caught taking bribes. Parents bringing their children snacks or water during break times were also well monitored.

“It’s fair to report that the ministry is making genuine progress,” Gannicott said Tuesday.

But more still needs to be done to tighten security inside exam rooms and to eliminate the temptations for teachers to accept bribes, he said.

“If Cambodia wants a successful school system and a successful examination system, it has to be seen to be fair and honest,” Gannicott said. “But Rome wasn’t built in a day.”



Related Stories

Latest News

The Weekly DispatchA new weekly newsletter from The Cambodia Daily delivering news, analysis and opinion to your inbox. Published every Friday at 11:30am. Sign up today.