The Anti-Corruption Unit has announced that it will not deploy observers to monitor the national high school exam this year.
The ACU first sent observers several years ago to monitor the national exam as the Education Ministry stepped up its efforts to curb cheating while undergoing major internal reforms.
Last year, the ACU said it deployed up to 5,000 volunteers, while it deployed about 4,500 observers in 2017.
In 2017, 28 students were sanctioned for cheating, while in 2018, the Education Ministry said 17 students automatically failed due to failure to comply with ministry guidelines.
According to the Education Ministry the exam will take place from August 19 to 20, with a total of 119,217 students, an increase when compared to last year’s 117,061.
However, in a statement dated June 27, the ACU announced it will not deploy observers this year.
“Regarding the BAC II examination this year, the ACU will not assign any inspectors to monitor the exam, as we have done for the past five years,” it said.
ACU vice president Seng Kheang and its education and prevention department director Ma Soyinda could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Ouk Chhayavy, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, yesterday said the Education Ministry has the capacity to conduct their own monitoring, without the help of the ACU.
“The ministry can use the internal rules to punish teachers and education officials who allow students to share answers,” Ms Chhayavy, adding that if the ministry continues to rely on the ACU, it will never be successful with its reforms.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, yesterday said in five years of monitoring the national exam, the ACU had not found major irregularities.
“I think it is time for the Education Ministry to do their work and show its strength in the process of the BAC II exam days, without ACU officials,” Mr Chey said.
He added that there are two important matters the public needs to see before the examination commences.
“We hope that the ministry can control this issue [technical error] and that there will be no problems during the BAC II exam,” Mr Chey said. “Officials must also ensure that students do not take the questionnaires out of the examination room.”