Bulgarian Education Minister Rejects High-School Exam Fraud

Education | May 15, 2010, Saturday // 15:51|  views

A picture of a skype conversation where Bulgarian students are discussing Thursday night the leaked topics of the next day State high-school exit exam. Photo by DarikNews

The signals about a possible leak of information about the mandatory State high-school matriculation exam in Bulgarian Language and Literature are being probed, Education Minister, Sergey Ignatov, informed Saturday.

Ignatov spoke in an interview for Darik radio saying he is not at all worried about the matriculation’s security because eventual discussion of the exam’s topic in internet forums the night before the Friday high-school exit exam would be easy to find and prove.

The exam went on without major incidents, except the usual removal of several students for cheating, all within the normal limits, the Minister explained, adding he stayed with his experts late into the night Friday to discuss how the CDs with the exam’s themes could have been hacked and reached conclusion this would be highly impossible.

“We cannot live ruled by rumors; we need evidence,” Ignatov concluded, pointing out he is not rejecting the possibility the allegations have the goal to discredit him over the controversial education and Bulgarina Academy of Sciences reforms.

The Minister also said that regardless of the outcome of the police probe, the exam would not be annulled and rescheduled.

The interview came on the heels of numerous media reports Friday that the exam’s themes, questions and answers have been traded for BGN 600, citing high-school seniors, parents and teachers.

According to the reports, around 11 pm on the night before the exam, a lecturer from the University of Sofia, who also gave private lessons to students, sent them a short text message (SMS) with the 3 possible versions of the State exam. One of them had been drawn out on the morning of the test. It remains unclear if the versions in the remaining 2 envelopes match the ones from the SMS.

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Tags: matriculation, Sergey Ignatov, education reform


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