Feb 2, 2013

Vietnam - MOET allows students bringing recording equipment to exam rooms

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VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training’s (MOET) decision to allow examinees to bring sound and image recording equipment to exam rooms has not welcomed by schools.

MOET has unexpectedly applied a “policy of openness” when allowing students bringing sound and image recording equipment (which cannot convey information) to exam rooms, when attending the 2013 high school finals and university entrance exams.

In fact, MOET has its reason for making the decision. One year ago, the exam cheating during the high school finals at the Doi Ngo High School in Bac Giang province was discovered by a student, who bought a camera to the exam room and filmed the exam cheating activities.

The video clip was then sent to local newspapers as the proof of the exam regulation violation. However, this then raised a controversy that if the student who brought camera to the exam room should be punished, because brining visual devices to exam rooms was then prohibited.

The public then raised its voice to protect the student, saying that if he had not been brave enough to bring camera into the exam room, no once could have proved the violations, and that the student should be praised for his behavior instead of being punished.

The student then had a “happy ending”: he passed the high school finals and the activities of cheating at the exams by the Doi Ngo High School’s students and teachers were exposed to the public.

MOET might think that the behavior of the student should be encouraged, and that the appearance of recording equipment at exam rooms would help better supervise the observance of the regulations.

Explaining the decision, MOET’s Deputy Minister Bui Van Ga said allowing students bringing recording devices to exam rooms would help ensure the earnest of the exams. Previously, people thought that no one would know what happens at the exam rooms. But now, with the appearance of the modern equipments, the whole society would supervise the exams to ensure the “fair play” of the examinees.

However, MOET’s decision to allow examinees bringing recording devices to exam room has not been applauded by school leaders.

They said that it’d better not to allow students bringing any audio or visual devices, because students need to be respected when attending exams

“Students go to exam rooms to attend the exams, not to supervise the exam. Meanwhile, education departments, schools and supervision agencies all are in charge of ensuring the earnest of the exams, while MOET should not rely on students to discover the wrongdoings during the exam,” a school headmaster said.

Nguyen Quoc Chinh, Deputy Head of the University and Post-university Training Division under the HCM City National University, also thinks that MOET should not allow examinees to bring recording devices with them, to respect the right of students attending the exams, not to supervise proctors.

Nguyen Dinh Hoa, President of the Central University of Arts Education, has suggested that MOET should give autonomy to schools and allow schools to decide what examinees can bring with themselves into the exam rooms, after considering their conditions.

Hoa said that he’d rather prohibit examinees to bring any technology devices into the exam rooms, because his proctors are not capable to find out if the devices can transfer information or receive information.

However, MOET’s Minister Pham Vu Luan decided not to reconcile, saying that even if MOET prohibits students to bring technology devices into exam rooms, they would still do this. Students should be given the right to fight against the exam cheating, if they want to.

Lao Dong

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