[EDITORIALS]Cheaters should never prosper

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[EDITORIALS]Cheaters should never prosper

News reports that there has been a coordinated scheme to cheat on the recent College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) has shocked us all. The students involved were found using mobile phone text messaging to cheat on the college entrance exam taken on Nov. 17.
So far, the police have announced that about 100 students from Gwangju, South Jeolla province, were involved. The news is causing an additional uproar as police suggested that similar schemes might have existed for several years and also in other regions of the country.
The government’s educational authorities cannot escape the criticism that they are to be blamed for the incident, because it could have been prevented when an anonymous tip came in before the exam. On Nov. 15, two days before the exam, an Internet user posted an article titled, “About Cheating on CSAT” on the Web site of the Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education. In the posting, the poster had described how students would use their mobile phones to cheat on the upcoming test.
If the government authorities made sure students did not carry their phones into the classroom, the incident could have been prevented. But the education office even sent the police back, refusing to allow the investigation to take place, when they came to search on the day of the exam.
Nothing could be more absurd. If the educational authorities were worried that the police investigation would bother other students who were taking the exam, then they should have at least have had intensive supervision in place.
Police said the students who were engaged in the cheating ring have been practicing since early September. They said the students met twice to rehearse the methods that they would use through mobile text messaging.
It is very unfortunate that the young students caught are now facing criminal charges and their test scores will be marked with a zero. But we have to note that the entire plan was too careful and precise for students to have prepared by themselves, so police need to investigate whether adult organizers were involved as well.
The government will have to find the responsible persons and punish severely those behind the cheating scheme. Countermeasures should also follow because CSAT takes such a decisive part in the process of college admissions.
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