Names Removed as Teachers Set to Grade Exams

Teachers gathered at nine Phnom Penh high schools Friday to anonymize grade 12 national exam papers, replacing the section where candidates’ personal details were listed with a secret identification code prior to grading.

The exam papers of the 83,341 students who completed the test, which qualifies students for university, have been divided and disseminated to the nine grading locations by subject, according to Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron.

When teachers begin grading on Sunday, any trace of student identification will have been removed from the exams to eliminate the opportunity for bias or bribery, he said.

“Once they remove the body from the header and put only the code name, nobody knows except maybe one or two people inside the room—the head of the group knows—where it comes from,” Mr. Chuon Naron said yesterday.

In an interview Wednesday, Education Ministry spokesperson Ros Salin said that at each center, different teams have been established for each step of the anonymizing, coding, grading and rematching process.

Following reforms introduced last year to eliminate rampant cheating and bribery—there was only one reported case of cheating this year compared to about 20 last year—the Education Ministry and Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) will keep the test papers under strict supervision until grades are released on September 15 and 16.

The ACU will monitor the grading process with surveillance cameras in each room of the nine grading centers, according to its Facebook page.

Additionally, answer sheets for each subject have not yet been created, and committees of teachers will meet Saturday to discuss exam questions and answers, according to Mr. Chuon Naron, who said answers would be distributed to teachers on the morning that grading begins.

“This year, there were no answers that circulated before the exam because we kept the questions confidential,” he said. “Only tomorrow the answers will be created. So, even myself, I don’t have the answers.”

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