Copies of grade 12 examination papers will only be provided to a single teacher for each subject this year in order to identify the source of leaks, said Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron during a speech on Saturday.
Mr. Naron, speaking at the American University of Phnom Penh’s one-year anniversary, warned teachers that tests leaked to students before the exam will be traced back to them.
“We will not allow leaks by limiting only one teacher to control examination for each subject,” Mr. Naron said. “If we have a leaked document, we will know who [did it].”
Previously, multiple teachers at each testing center received exam papers in the days before the tests and also supervised students during the exam sitting.
This year, only the teacher who receives the test document will be charged with supervision, though other independent monitors will also be employed.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teacher Association, said Sunday that Mr. Naron should look within his own ranks before pointing the finger at teachers.
“I want the minister to look to upper-level officials,” said Mr. Chhun, explaining that some leaks could be coming from within the ministry’s administration.
“We want the ministry’s focus on officials at the test centers,” Mr. Chhun said. “The leak could come from those officials, sometimes they have copies of the tests in the back of their cars.”
Leading up to August’s grade 12 exam, Mr. Naron has outlined numerous reforms meant to eliminate rampant cheating on the grade 12 exam, hoping to make it an honest indication of students’ ability upon graduation.
Among the steps, Mr. Naron has invited NGOs to register independent monitors to help oversee the tests and has enlisted the aid of the Anti-Corruption Unit, which at one point threatened cheating students with prison time.
Mr. Naron also recently announced that cheaters will be automatically failed and banned from taking the test—the sole factor for state university scholarships— for two years.
At his speech on Saturday, Mr. Naron added that this year’s exam will also have improved entrance security.
“We will not allow the student to take hand phones or any electronic material into the exams,” Mr. Naron said.
Mr. Naron also recommitted to his recent freeze on new universities, besides those providing engineering and agriculture degrees.
“Now we have 105 universities and more than 250,000 students, but the subjects that they are teaching more than 50 percent for economics, business, and management,” Mr. Naron said.
“Investors say they need workers with new skills like engineering and agriculture.”