Cheating still plagues computer-based exams

The Jakarta Post, page 8

Technology does not cure dishonesty. This is what the government may have learned after going the extra mile to improve the implementation of exams for final year students. Decentralized and conducted online, students and parents continue to report alleged cheating.

A senior high school student in East Jakarta told his parents that he and his classmates had been offered the answer keys for their standardized school exam by their teachers for Rp 25,000 (US$1.87) per school subject.

The parents were shocked to learn of such alleged practices at the school, especially when they had paid millions of rupiah for exam courses for their son.

It was one of many corrupt practices found by the Ombudsman in Greater Jakarta during the implementation of standardized tests for high schools on March 20 to 23. This is the country’s first year implementing standardized school exams managed by regional administrations to determine graduation of students at all education levels.

The content of the exams are no longer designed by the Culture and Education Ministry, but instead designed by teachers grouped under the Teacher Development Networks (MGMP) in regencies and municipalities.

Indonesian Ombudsman education team coordinator, Rully Amrullah said the Ombudsman had found 33 cases related to violations by invigilators, 34 percent of which involved cases of invigilators using cellphones while supervising the exams.

The Ombudsman also found cases of teachers allowing students to cheat and leave the classroom while taking the exams. It also found there were teachers who had allegedly distributed answer keys just minutes before the exams commenced and supervised exams that covered the same subject they taught at school.

The Ombudsman suggested that the exams had been plagued by problems partly due to minimal supervision by the Culture and Education Ministry, which had given full authority to provincial administrations to manage the exams.

Ombudsman commissioner Ahmad Suaedy said there should be tighter supervision of the exams, instead of just handing over the implementation to provinces.

Meanwhile, The ministry’s inspector general, Daryanto, said the ministry would use the findings to evaluate the implementation of the exams. Daryanto claimed the ministry had created the standard operating procedures for the exams, but acknowledged it could not prevent any corrupt practices from happening during the implementation.

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