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Around 100 Students Involved

Posted November. 21, 2004 23:10,   


It has been revealed that around 100 people participated in the Gwangju college entrance exam cheating scandal. Having collected more than 10 million won and going through thorough rehearsals, this was executed in a very organized manner.

Accordingly, the police assumed there could have been similar acts of cheating in other examination sites and ordered police headquarters nationwide to gather information. Education authorities decided to establish measures to stop such acts fundamentally.

A Plot Revealed-

Gwangju Dongbu Police Headquarters, who is in charge of this investigation, issued arrest warrants for “intervention with official duties through deceptive schemes” on November 21, to six students from four high schools in Gwangju, including S High School student L (19), the main culprit.

The police revealed, “Besides the leader, we investigated students involved in this case and 12 students who helped them, and sent them home afterwards on the night of November 20.” The police added that up to 60 test-takers (20 of them only received the answers) and 40 underclassmen, who helped them, are involved in this case.

According to the police, 40 test-takers brought in two mass-purchased mobile phones into the examination place and sent “tentative answers” to 40 underclassmen who were waiting in a building in Yongbong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju.

The 40 underclassmen made “real answers” based on the “tentative answers” and sent these via text message to the previously arranged 40 test-takers and again to 20 more test-takers.

According to police investigation, these students who have been middle school and high school friends prepared for this since September, and used the names of three college students whom they knew well to buy a “bar type” mobile phone (a phone on which messages can be transmitted and received without opening cover) on an Internet shopping mall.

The police confiscated 58 mobile phones and are checking their conversation and message records to track the location of other accomplices and see whether there are more involved.

Scope of Investigation to Be Increased-

The police said that since this crime was committed at a national examination that is taken by several hundreds of thousand students every year, a thorough investigation will take place and those exposed will be given heavy punishments.

An official at the police headquarters said, “Since rumors of cheating acts at the college entrance exams have turned out to be true, we ordered all regional police headquarters to look for similar cases.”

This official said, “It has not been revealed whether brokers are involved in the Gwangju case,” and added, “If brokers are involved or similar cases are disclosed in other regions, we will have to increase the scope of our investigation.”

Education Authorities-

The Ministry of Education and Human Resources revealed on November 21 it would discuss this matter with the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation, the institute that makes the college entrance exams, and arrange preventive measures.

The Ministry revealed, “We shall prepare collective measures that could prevent cheating by remote control devices, and will consider every method, including body searches, stationing more supervisors, installing electronic inspection devices and radio-wave breakers, increasing the number of test forms and so on.”

However, since these solutions require high budgets and might possibly be a violation of human rights, they have a low possibility of being realized.

Kwon Kim In-Chul Lee goqud@donga.com inchul@donga.com