23 de­tained in He­nan test-tak­ing scan­dal

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By QI XIN in Zhengzhou and ZHENG JINRAN in Bei­jing

Twenty- three sus­pects, in­clud­ing stu­dents and teach­ers, are be­ing held in the na­tional col­lege en­trance exam “ghost­writer” scan­dal in He­nan prov­ince, the prov­ince’s ad­mis­sion of­fice said on Thurs­day.

The scan­dal will not af­fect other exam-as­sess­ment pro­ce­dures, the of­fice added.

“The ad­mis­sion scores and process will not be af­fected by the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” said Liu Zhengjun, di­rec­tor of the pub­lic­ity depart­ment at the ad­mis­sions of­fice in He­nan prov­ince. The ad­mis­sion scores will be pub­li­cized on Thurs­day, he added.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors say sev­eral teach­ers or­ga­nized col­lege stu­dents to take gaokao ex­ams us­ing the names of real ap­pli­cants dur­ing the exam in He­nan’s Qix­ian and Tongxu coun­ties. The teach­ers bribed exam mon­i­tors and other of­fi­cials to get the im­posters through the strin­gent checks.

Soon af­ter China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion ex­posed the scan­dal, ed­u­ca­tion and pub­lic se­cu­rity bu­reaus in the prov­ince started in­ves­ti­gat­ing, in­clud­ing thor­ough com­par­isons of pho­tos, videos and fin­ger­prints of all the prov­ince’s par­tic­i­pat­ing stu­dents.

Of the 23 sus­pects be­ing held as of Wed­nes­day night, four are stu­dents sus­pected of us­ing sur­ro­gate test tak­ers.

“Once con­firmed, those stu­dents will have a score of zero for the exam,” said Liu from the ad­mis­sions of­fice, adding that additional checks will be added to the col­lege reg­is­ter process.

As the in­ves­ti­ga­tion continues, more sus­pects will be iden­ti­fied, said Luo Lie, pub­lic­ity of­fi­cial from the pub­lic se­cu­rity bureau in Kaifeng, where the two coun­ties are lo­cated.

Be­fore the CCTV re­port, He­nan prov­ince had found a to­tal of 127 stu­dents us­ing ghost­writ­ers.

“We took fin­ger­prints by ma­chines be­fore the exam, but the sur­ro­gate exam-tak­ers can still fin­ish their task, which means the su­per­vi­sion mea­sure is not ef­fi­cient,” said Ma Muyu, 18, a par­tic­i­pant in the gaokao from Zhengzhou, the cap­i­tal of He­nan.

Mu Aimin, Ma’s mother, also said the exam su­per­vi­sion is lax, and that makes the com­pe­ti­tion un­fair.

“The par­ents who hired ghost­writ­ers did not help their chil­dren at all. They are re­spon­si­ble for the fu­ture of their chil­dren and the sur­ro­gate ex­am­tak­ers too,” she said.

Though au­thor­i­ties have used tech­nol­ogy to fend off ghost­writ­ers, sim­i­lar in­ci­dents have oc­curred in many prov­inces in re­cent years.

“The root cause of such re­peated scan­dals in gaokao lies in the cur­rent ed­u­ca­tion man­age­ment sys­tem,” said Chu Zhao­hui, a se­nior re­searcher at Na­tional In­sti­tute of Ed­u­ca­tion.

Schools and teach­ers are un­der in­struc­tions of ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments. If people can bribe of­fi­cials at the top of the sys­tem, then they can go through the whole process eas­ily.

“Set­ting up a pro­fes­sional com­mit­tee to or­ga­nize the col­lege en­trance exam is an ef­fi­cient way” to deal with the scan­dal, he said. Such a com­mit­tee would be im­mune from the di­rect in­flu­ence of ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments, keep­ing the exam fair, he added. Con­tact the writ­ers at zhengjin­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn and qixin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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