Union: Math Exam Answers Widely Circulated

The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association has claim­ed the answers to the mathematics exam were widely available be­fore exam day, despite Minis­try of Education protests that this was not the case.

A “cheat sheet” was found that exactly matched the exam questions, association President Rong Chun said. Top officers at the ministry made the answers available, he claimed, adding that the cheat sheet was made using a word processor and is very clear.

A teacher from Boeung Trabek High School, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said proctors told him students copied answers from this cheat sheet.

“It is not justice for the Ministry of Education to let mathematics answers [be] known while the other provinces didn’t have any cheating answers,” he said.

He said the ministry chooses students who have high scores to go to university, and it is unjust to other students who don’t have the answers. Students in Phnom Penh have a better chance than their rural counterparts at applying to university, he said.

“The Ministry of Education never acknowledges the bad thing [cheating during the exam],” Rong Chun said. The only way to stop cheating is to increase teachers’ salaries so they are not inclined to take bribes or sell test answers, he said.

Municipal Director of Edu­ca­tion Oum Hoeung said exams were 100 percent successful; no answers were available before, and no money was collected by instructors during the exam.

But many students claimed they cheated easily during the exam. A student from Boeung Trabek High School paid about $1 to proctors for each exam; in total he spent $15. “I hid the an­swer sheet in my underwear,” he said.

With exams under way, large numbers of students were seen crowding around copy shops in the evening, reportedly copying exam answer sheets.

Kong Sarann, municipal police deputy chief of security, said no arrests were made during the exams.

Exam periods in previous years have been marked by chaotic scenes outside of schools, with students trying to throw test answers wrapped around rocks through school windows to their classmates, while police officers tried to catch them.

 

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