|The trial opens for the national high school exam cheating scandal in Sơn La Province. VNA/VNS Photo Quang Quyết|
SƠN LA The People’s Court of Sơn La Province yesterday re-opened the first instance hearing for eight defendants involved in the national high school exam cheating scandal last year.
The eight defendants are being tried for abuse of power while performing their official duties to inflate the exam scores of 44 students.
The court has approved the indictment against the eight defendants.
They include former deputy director of the provincial Department of Education and Training, Trần Xuân Yến; head and officials from the department’s Division of Examination and Quality Management, Lò Văn Huynh, Nguyễn Thị Hồng Nga and Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn; and former vice-principal at Tô Hiệu High School, Đặng Hữu Thuỷ.
Other defendants include former deputy director of the Division of Political Ideology, Cầm Thị Bun Sọt; and former officials of the Internal Political Security Division, Đinh Hải Sơn and Đỗ Khắc Hưng.
According to the indictment, the defendants colluded to raise scores on multiple-choice tests for 44 students for material exchange or personal relationships.
Four defendants admitted to receiving money for fixing the scores. Nga admitted to getting VNĐ1.040 billion (US$44,720) to doctor the results for four students. VNĐ1 billion ($43,000) has been returned.
Huynh and Sọn took VNĐ1 billion and VNĐ440 million ($18,920) to inflate scores for three students, while Thuỷ pocketed VNĐ500 million ($21,500) from four students. All of the money has been returned to the students’ families and the investigating agency.
However, there was not enough evidence to charge the defendants with bribery. The money was determined as gifts for self-interest.
Last year, more than 10,300 students participating in the national high school graduation exam. The results showed the province had the lowest average scores of 3.43 for maths and 4.03 for physics in the country.
However, the number of students achieving nine points or more in maths and physics was higher than other localities. The results of the exam are used for admissions to universities and colleges.
The Ministry of Education and Training and the police launched an investigation into the exam marking process following abnormally high test results in Sơn La, Hoà Bình and Hà Giang. Many cases of cheating were found.
The trial was scheduled for September 15, but was postponed due to the absence of 76 people involved.
At the trial, 91 people – half of them parents whose children had their scores fixed, and the leaders of the provincial education and training sector – were summoned for interrogation by the court.
The trial will run until Saturday (October 19). VNS