The education ministry Friday asked authorities in Mekong Delta provinces to punish those responsible for not following its marking instructions during the recently concluded high school graduation exams.
The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) said it had allowed leaders of marking councils in 11 provinces to hold a meeting to discuss its instructions about correcting the papers for exams held on June 2-4
However, "it was a pity" that the leaders built a modified set of the instructions at the meeting and allowed it to be applied at several areas, the ministry said.
Those responsible should be censured and otherwise punished, the ministry said.
All the action taken against the wrongdoers should reported by July 31, according to the ministry.
Last week local media reports revealed that several provinces in the Mekong Delta had used the ministry's instructions to issue modifications that would make it easer to score marks.
Following the exposure, the ministry issued a statement last Saturday expressly banning any deviations from its instructions.
After comparing the two guides at a meeting on Thursday, the ministry decided to not mark papers from the delta all over again, because "students aren't at fault," Deputy Minister of MoET Nguyen Vinh Hien told the press.
Meanwhle, education officials in the delta's 11 provinces said they didn't agree with MoET's conclusions.
Nguyen Quy Don, vice director of Can Tho City's Department of Education and Training, said minutes of a meeting among marking councils on June 5 were signed by the ministry's inspectors.
"Therefore, it's not right to say the provinces acted on their own will," Don said, adding that MoET officials need to visit the Mekong Delta for clarifications.
Ninh Thanh Vien, deputy director of Kien Giang province's education department, also said that the ministry needs to have an official meeting with the provinces to clarify media reports.
According to an MoET report submitted to the Prime Minister on Friday, 95.72 percent of twelfth-graders across the country passed the graduation exams, 3.15 percent more than last year.
Northern provinces like Nam Dinh and Hai Duong saw the highest rates over 99 percent, Mekong Delta provinces had an average pass rate of 90.81 percent which is one of the lowest.