Exam cheating by Hanoi officials under investigation

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The environment department in Hanoi is investigating a case where an official allegedly sat an in-service course examination instead of his superior.

Vu Van Hau, director of Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Thursday told the Tuoi Tre newspaper that any wrongdoing by Nguyen Trong Dong, vice director of the department, and his subordinate Phan Thanh Quang would be punished in accordance with regulations.

According to the newspaper, the cheating was spotted on October 19 when Quang sat for the final examination of a course at Le Hong Phong School that Dong has attended since August 22.

When the substitution was spotted by the exam's supervisor, Quang, deputy chief of the environment's maps and surveys division, ran out of the room together with his paper, Tuoi Tre said.

Following the exposure, Dong denied accusations that he asked Quang to take the exam in his stead.

In his report to the department's leaders, the official said due to a business trip to Ho Chi Minh City, he couldn't attend the exam. He also said he had previously sent a letter to the school's management board, asking for permission to take the next exam instead.

Meanwhile, Quang said in his report that he attended Dong's class that day planning to take note of lessons for his superior who was on a business trip on October 19-21, adding that he decided to do so by himself.

When he arrived at the class, he found that everybody was already writing their papers, so he "spontaneously" attended the exam, Quang said.

According to Quang, the exam's supervisor discovered that he was posing as Dong when he looked up Dong's order number.

In the meantime, Nguyen Van Sau, president of Le Hong Phong School, told Tuoi Tre Friday that evidence and reports by involved people showed that Dong didn't cheat at the exam. Sau added that he has been transferred to another class.

However, Hau said the department will continue investigating the case and reach conclusions soon because "it's not good to delay the case."

The director also said that they will work with the school to clarify accusations that Dong was often absent from class and asked someone else to register roll calls for him. The accusations were made by Dong's classmates, the paper said.

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