Pagers hired in cheating scam

15th September 2000 at 01:00

THE ministry of education has ordered an inquiry into exam cheating after the arrest of 21 people including 15 teachers, in Guandong province.

The group has been detained on suspicion of using pagers to feed students answers to multiple-choice questions while they were sitting their exams. The students had to either rent or buy the pagers.

The Guangdong education department and public security bureau reported that teachers, students, local education officials and the owner of a paging shop were behind the scam.

Fifteen local education department officials have been held responsible, of hom three will be prosecuted.

For three years, students paid around pound;16 to rent the pagers or pound;40 to buy them. They were guaranteed minimum scores as long as they paid pound;24-pound;240 for each of the five subject portions of the test. The scam was uncovered after a student complained to a newspaper that he had to use the cheating pager if he wanted to go to university. A reporter gathered evidence by posing as a student who wanted to buy answers.

Police raided the pager shop and exam rooms. Thirty students found to have identical answers have been banned from sitting further exams for three years.

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