DSI may cancel teacher test in four provinces
List of 486 top scorers will be closely vetted to be fair to allWith initial inquiries revealing a high incidence of cheating in assistant teacher exams held in Udon Thani, Yasothon, Chaiyaphum and Khon Kaen provinces, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) may call on the Education Ministry to cancel test results in these provinces. A final decision by the ministry will be announced next Monday.
DSI officials were also dispatched yesterday to inspect a Khon Kaen resort, where people due to sit the exam were allegedly taught how to use signals from communication devices.
Thanin Prempree, director of the DSI's corruption prevention and suppression centre, explained that investigators had initially found irregularities - such as other people taking the exam on behalf of real applicants - in Udon Thani, Yasothon, Chaiyaphum and Khon Kaen. However, he said, for the meantime schools could continue recruiting assistant teachers.
He said the DSI would spend about five or six months investigating the list of 486 people who achieved full or near full marks, to see which of them cheated. People found to have cheated would be replaced.
Meanwhile, Sompong Rojanapattara-pong, director of the Khon Kaen Primary Education Zone 3 Office, and six other officials, insisted yesterday that they had done their best to stop cheating. The officials face a severe disciplinary probe by OBEC - the Office of Basic Education Commission - over allegations they may have helped people sitting the test to cheat.
Thanin said some students were reportedly asked to pay from Bt300,000 to Bt500,000 to cheating gangs if they ended up getting a job.
The DSI man said that judging from available evidence, he was sure that cheating had taken place. DSI officials inspected Chuda Park Resort & Hotel in Khon Kaen yesterday, where a group of alleged exam cheats reportedly gathered ahead of the exam. The hotel staff told us that the group behaved suspiciously," Thanin said.
According to the hotel staff, the group had booked a convention hall and lunch for about 100 people, but during the meeting, they did not want anybody around and did not even use a loudspeaker. "If a staff member went in to serve water, the room would suddenly fall silent," he said.
Thanin went on to say that witnesses had informed the DSI that the test takers paid Bt7,000 to the gang in order to learn how to use the communication devices.