As 12th-grade students around the country yesterday began their national exams, allegations of cheating and bribery were raised once again.
Ouk Chhayavy, deputy president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, said that cheating was rampant, and she accused the Ministry of Education of turning a blind eye to the problem.
“Proctors collected between 5,000 and 30,000 riel in exchange for being able to look at notes,” Ms Chhayavy said, basing her data on information provided by CITA teachers in Phnom Penh.
Ou Eng, director general of the education department at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, said that he visited exam centers in Kandal province yesterday and witnessed no evidence that students had bribed proctors.
“I asked the students if they bribed the proctors, and they answered no,” he said, adding that if any evidence is found showing that a proctor accepted bribes, he or she would be suspended from proctoring exams for one or two years.
Mr Eng said that 113,795 students were taking either a science or social science test at one of the 243 exam centers in Cambodia from yesterday until Wednesday.
Chea Cheat, chief of Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Education, Youth and Sports, said that he checked the exam centers in Phnom Penh and did not find any proctors taking bribes: “Most students are focusing on their exams without cheating or copying.”
However, Syha, a 20-year-old student who is taking the social science exam at Phnom Penh’s Tuol Svay Prey High School, said he paid 30,000 riel to use an answer sheet and notes, and cheat off friends’ tests. “The proctor asked for a set amount of money,” he said, declining to give his full name for fear of repercussions.
Vuth, a 20-year-old student taking the social science exam at Sisowath High School, also in Phnom Penh, said he gave his proctor 15,000 riel but was disappointed that the proctor did not provide him with an answer sheet in exchange.
“I used my phone to take a photo of an answer sheet, then copied it from my phone,” he said.