Five proctors and graders accused of improper conduct related to last month’s high school exam—including a teacher who allegedly took bribes from students—have been summoned for questioning by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) and could face legal repercussions.
A 2014 overhaul of the exam, which determines university placement, included efforts to stamp out cheating and bribery. With the changes came the threat of severe punishment for any adult caught helping students cheat.
Since this year’s exam on August 22 and 23, the ACU has posted five letters to its website, each summoning an exam monitor for questioning over mostly unspecified offenses—the first such cases since 2014.
“We have summoned five people…for disobeying the Ministry of Education’s regulations,” ACU Chairman Om Yentieng said on Wednesday.
“There were some activities that we suspect were in violation of the law,” he added, declining to elaborate.
According to the summonses, the five include three teachers and two education officials. One, Horn Monyleaksmei, a teacher at Toul Ampel High School in Phnom Penh, was questioned by the ACU on Monday for “accepting money from candidates.”
Chaing Chanhout and Yi Sreynget, also teachers in Phnom Penh, and Pov Vy, deputy director of the Education Ministry’s legislative department, have been called to appear before the anti-graft body this coming Monday over unnamed violations.
Chiv Ratha, deputy director of the ministry’s youth department, tasked with supervising exam grading at Preah Yukunthor High School, is set to be questioned the same day related to an “irregularity” during scoring of the chemistry portion of the test.
Education Ministry spokesman Ros Salin said he knew nothing about the alleged offenses and that it was up to the ACU to determine the proctors’ guilt or innocence.
Ouk Chhayavy, acting president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, said the ministry was hanging its officials out to dry by not conducting its own investigation.
“If the Ministry of Education is incompetent, and if the Anti-Corruption Unit is stronger and better and it can reform the education sector,” she said, “then dissolve the education institution.”
(Additional reporting by Janelle Retka)