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Migrant examinees attract cheating suspicion
By Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-18 06:03

HARBIN: A wave of "migrating examinees" has sparked an investigation into possible cheating during last weekend's national self-study college entrance examinations.

Several thousand examinees from Heilongjiang Province arrived in Jilin, Jilin Province, two days before the examination, according to reports in Harbin newspaper Life Daily.

The temporary migrants crammed the carriages of the once-a-day train from Harbin to Jilin before piling into the city's hostels.

The question troubling many is why did these examinees travel all the way to Jilin when they could have taken the exam at home?

Insiders say the answer is clear: The migrant examinees were all cheating.

For a 200 yuan (US$25) "information fee," it is alleged, each examinee received a detailed "mock test" from an "authoritative source" and was guaranteed "assistance" while sitting the exams.

Two offices responsible for the self-study exams in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces have been ordered to give a written report on the incident to the Ministry of Education.

Sun Rongjiang, deputy director of the Heilongjiang Provincial Examination Recruitment Office, told China Daily that they had learned of the likely exodus beforehand.

"We couldn't do anything about it, it is not illegal to take exams in places other than your residency," he said.

Sun estimated that around 1,000 examinees may have travelled to Jilin from Heilongjiang for the exam, denying the 6,000 reported by Life Daily.

In response to accusations of organized cheating, Sun said he wasn't surprised.

"Before the exam we were very worried that some test papers had leaked. If any cheating took place, then we are very unhappy about it and it is extremely frustrating," he said.

The current punishments for exam cheating include withholding an examinee's qualification or annulling his or her results, steps which are not tough enough to put off determined cheaters, said Sun.

"We are craving an 'examination law,'" he said.

(China Daily 10/18/2005 page3)

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