Dec 13, 2012

Vietnam - How much do marks cost?

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VietNamNet Bridge – When the exam season comes, university students whisper in each other’s ears that an envelope with 500,000 dong inside would be enough to buy 10 marks, while 400,000 dong would bring 8 marks

NTT, a third year student of a school in Hanoi, decided to consult with an elder student who has “experiences” in buying marks.

The student told T that she needs to visit the lecturers some days just before the exam days and give the lecturers “envelops.” The lecturers would consider the sums of money inside the envelops to decide how many marks to give to T for her exam papers.

Not only T, but other students have also been rushing to visit lecturers to seek “lifeboats” which can ensure that they would pass the exams.

In fact, visiting lecturers at their home and giving envelops is a popular thing students always do in the exam season. The sale and buy of marks has become so popular that everyone could know about the “market prices.”

The price levels prove to be different for different schools, but the price gaps are not too big. Besides, the prices would also depend on the importance of the learning subject, the characteristics of lecturers.

Some days just before the exam days, students would call lecturers, asking for the permission to visit the lecturers at their homes and ask about some problems they still cannot understand.

However, in fact, students do not need extra lessons. They just try to take full advantage of the opportunity of the meetings to “order” the marks they want with the lecturers.

In general, students have to think carefully about how much they should pay to lecturers. They need 9 or 10 marks for some exam subjects, but they just need “pass” for others. Therefore, the sums of money paid to lecturers are different.

“I heard that just 200,000 dong would be enough to get 6 marks,” said NTT. “Meanwhile, I am not sure about another subject. The lecturer last year received 300,000 dong for six marks. But she has been criticized for receiving money from students. Therefore, I am afraid that she would not receive envelops this year.”

T complained that she is always short of money in the exam season, because she has “extra expenditure items.” T has to warn her parents in the home village one month before the exam season, so that their parents can arrange enough money for her.

Meanwhile, P, a fourth year student, said simply that it would be better to visit lecturers and give envelops, even though students have good learning capability.

“You’d better to play safe by giving money to lecturers, or you would fail the exams even if you can do exam questions well,” he said.

Many other students also think this way. A fourth year student of the agriculture and forestry school said he has to starve himself to have 500,000 dong to give to the lecturer.

“This is a very important subject,” he explained. “If you fail the exam, you would have to learn it again, which would cost you much more than 500,000 dong.”

He feels worried because he doesn’t know if 500,000 is enough for the subject.
“A friend of mine said he gives the lecturer 1 million dong,” he complained.

Meanwhile, some other students submitted the blank exam papers and envelops with money inside, the information about the names and classes, and the messages to exam paper markers that they hope they could pass the exams.

Tien Phong

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