Ministry attempts press gagging order on exam cheating
  • By Hong Hanh | | May 20, 2013 03:54 PM
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A recent request that press agencies must report exam cheating to local authorities before publishing stories has been widely rejected.


Guidance on publishing stories about exam cheating stirs up concern

Minister of Education Training Pham Vu Luan sent an official document to chairmen of provinces and cities directly under the management of the central government to co-ordinate in preventing cheating during this year’s high school graduation and university entrance exams.

As a result, the ministry requested that such chairmen must direct media agencies to carefully discuss with agencies before any publication on misconduct during the exams.

Several educators said the guidance is inadequate.

Prof. Pham Tat Dong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Study Encouragement Association, said, “Such guidance is improper. Media agencies have their own functions and are operating under the Press Law. Pronvincial and municipal agencies can’t ban journalists from doing stories about cheating.”

Associate Prof Van Nhu Cuong, Principal of the Hanoi-based Luong The Vinh High School, agreed, saying, “I think that the guidance was to prevent the highlighting of exam cheating like in recent years. However, the requirement is impossible as the press greatly helps in discovering cheating.”

According to him, it would be better to just remind press agencies that they should only publish true and precise information about all issues, including exams.

Dr. Nguyen Tung Lam, Chairman of Hanoi Education Psychology Association, who is also principal of the Hanoi-based Dinh Tien Hoang High School, said it would be really hard for the Ministry of Education (MoET) to manage all issues related to cheating during the exams.

“I do think that such guidance was unwise. Press agencies and local authorities have their own powers. The ministry seems not to be aware that some cheating should be immediately dealt with, while other forms can wait for discussion before publishing,” Lam assessed.

He added that all issues should be dealt with in accordance with already existing laws and regulations and that the priority should be to organise transparently fair exams.

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