Top provincial education official fired for high school exam fraud

By Duong Tam   November 27, 2019 | 08:50 pm PT
Top provincial education official fired for high school exam fraud
Bui Trong Dac, the dismissed Director of the Department of Education and Training of the northern province Hoa Binh. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Tam.
Hoa Binh Province has fired its education director for violations in the conduct of last year national high school exams.

Bui Trong Dac, director of the Hoa Binh Department of Education and Training, was dismissed from service for lack of accountability, weak management and leadership in the exam fraud wherein scores of 65 candidates were altered by his staff, the northern province's People’s Committee said Wednesday.

Dac is not the only high-profile official in Hoa Binh to be punished for wrongdoings or negligence in the scandal. Provincial police last year launched a criminal investigation into the case after evidence surfaced that a number of candidates' multiple-choice answer sheets had been altered to improve their results.

Bui Van Cuu, vice chairman of the province, received an official warning in September for failing to fulfill his duties as head of the provincial National High School Examination's Steering Committee.

Vietnam's Communist Party has four modes of punishment against members: reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion.

Investigations into the exam fraud has so far led to the arrest of eight education officials and teachers in the province, including Nguyen Quang Vinh, head of the Testing and Quality Assurance Unit under Hoa Binh's education department, and his deputy Diep Thi Hong Lien.

The scandal, which spanned the three northern provinces of Hoa Binh, Ha Giang, and Son La, has seen numerous officials in all localities arrested or disciplined for their involvement.

Over 200 students in the three provinces had had their results altered in the high school exam, an event usually considered one of the most important and also stressful for children in Vietnam, as its results would decide their career path and probably future life. Dozens of students from top universities have voluntarily dropped out or been expelled after their scores were corrected.

Last month, five senior education officials in Ha Giang were sentenced to jail for one to eight-year terms for abusing their power for personal gains, ranging from one to eight-year jaiterm. Nguyen Thanh Hoai, former head of the Testing and Quality Assurance unit under Ha Giang's education department, received the longest jail term of eight years.

In Son La, provincial chairman Pham Van Thuy, who also served as head of the province’s 2018 national high school exam organization team, received an official warning from the Central Inspection Committee, the Communist Party's top watchdog.

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