Second education official arrested for national exam fraud in Vietnam

Nguyen Thanh Hoai, head of the Testing and Quality Assurance unit under Ha Giang’s Education Department.

Nguyen Thanh Hoai, head of the Testing and Quality Assurance unit under Ha Giang’s Education Department, has been placed under criminal investigation for “abuse of power or position in performance of official duties.”

According to investigators, Hoai directly gave the key to the room where candidates’ test sheets were stored to his deputy Vu Trong Luong, enabling the latter to alter the results of over 330 test sheets belonging to 114 candidates.

Luong was arrested last Friday, and Hoai was suspended from all duties relating to the national high school exam the same day.

The exam fraud, which has shocked the nation, was uncovered after the Ministry of Education and Training released the official test results of all candidates nationwide on July 11 and the public started questioning unusually good results of Ha Giang’s students.

A team of inspectors from the ministry was sent to Ha Giang Province, and after re-grading all multiple-choice test sheets belonging to the province’s candidates, they found that the results of over 330 test sheets had been heavily altered.

Further investigations found Luong to be the main perpetrator, as he had scanned the candidates’ test answers into a computer, before replacing them both digitally and physically with official test answers released by the ministry.

Following the discovery of the exam fraud in Ha Giang, the education ministry has formed teams to inspect unusually high scores of students in the nearby Son La, Lang Son and Hoa Binh provinces, as well as the Central Highlands’ Lam Dong Province and the southern province of Ben Tre.

Inspectors announced Monday that they had found evidence that exam results were altered in Son La, while no violation has been detected in Lang Son and Hoa Binh.

Vietnam’s national high school graduation exam is deemed a make-or-break event for the students, since it determines if they can enter a good university or not.

The national exam requires candidates to undertake mandatory exams in Math, Literature and Foreign Language, while making a choice between Natural Sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) and Social Sciences (History, Geography and Ethics).

This year, the examination lasted three days, from June 25 to June 27.