Education authorities in the northern province of Bac Giang have asked police to specify whether any criminal charges will be filed in an exam cheating case that has been grabbing headlines since last week.
In an interview with Dan Tri news website, Nguyen Huy Bang, chief inspector of the Ministry of Education and Training, however, did not say what crimes, if any, occurred at Doi Ngo Private High School during the national high school graduation exam on June 2-4.
Since June 6, 12 clips taken by two students sitting in two different exam rooms at the school have been posted online, showing students throwing exam questions out of the room, receiving answers in return, and sharing them with the help of proctors.
They were also filmed openly using crib sheets without being stopped by proctors.
On Friday, Vietnamnet quoted attorney Nguyen Van Tu, chairman of Bac Giang's Bar Association, as saying that such acts by the students and proctors could be charged with "deliberate disclosure of national secrets, leading to serious consequences."
If convicted, the violators could face up to seven years in jail, including suspension from official duty for up to five years, Tu said.
In the meantime, Bang, during his interview with Dan Tri, slammed the students who took the clips with camera pens given by a former teacher of Doi Ngo for not providing police with all the clips at once.
He said by submitting the clips one by one, they had slowed the investigation, adding that their behavior could stem from "unhealthy motives."
He also said that the ministry plans to introduce regulations into national exams that will encourage people to expose cheating through a clear legal framework.
Since the clips went viral on the Internet, the students' surveillance has sparked a debate among educators and officials about whether or not to punish them for violating regulations by brining cameras into exam halls.
It's still unclear who posted them online.