As high school exams entered their second day Tuesday,
students and controllers both say cheating, corruption and other irregularities
plague the process.
Students pass money to teacher administrators, called
controllers, to allow for cheating, copying and having answers checked by other
students. Some students take tests for others. In some cases, students know the
answers to the test ahead of time.
"I hope that I will pass, because I could copy from my
friends," a student named Vecheka, 19, said following her exams at Sisowath High School
in Phnom Penh.
"The teachers were not really strict after we collected money for
But cheating is a violation against the next generation,
corrupting students when they are young, said Rong Chhun, president of the
Cambodian Independent Teachers Association.
The high school cheating has become an annual event, but at
least one controller said this year, the habit was so ingrained, he could be
hurt if he didn't take a bribe.
"I know this is a kind of corruption," said one
controller at Boeung
School, "but if I did not accept it, I can
have a security concern after I leave the school."
This year about 79,000 students took exams nationwide.
The Ministry of Education does not recognize the cheating as
a widespread problem.
But another controller said the custom was proverbially widespread.
"The collection of money from students has become a
usual habit; if pey goes, tro also goes," said the
controller, from Phnom Penh's Tuoltompong High School,
quoting a proverb about two musical instruments that must be played together.