[EDITORIALS]Consequences of cheatingIt is now known that cheating on the College Scholastic Ability Test with cellphones occured widely in Seoul and in North Jeolla and South Chungcheong provinces as well as in Gwangju, where an investigation is underway. According to police analysis of telephone text messages provided by two cellphone companies, 82 people exchanged incriminating text messages in those areas during the time the test was being held. When investigations on the records of messages provided by a third cellphone carrier are concluded, the number of violators involved is expected to increase.
What went wrong with the management and supervision of the examination by the Education Ministry, metropolitan and provincial education offices and the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation? How could cheating take place so rampantly? There were warnings and tip-offs of cheating on the Internet sites of provincial education offices. Those who are responsible for neglecting to take preventative measures must be held accountable.
As more test cheating is uncovered, we worry whether the 2005 university admissions can proceed on schedule. The Education Ministry will nullify the examination papers submitted by the students involved in the cheating ring. Their papers will be separated from those of others; their scores will not be included in calculating averages, percentage ratings and grades. Therefore, if the investigations are prolonged and the list of students whose tests are not to be used is delayed, it will not be possible to inform students of the results of the examination on Dec. 14 as scheduled. Neither will it be possible to select successful applicants for college admissions in the second semester by Dec. 19 and meet the final application deadline set for Dec. 22-27. A catastrophe for university entrance would take place.
To prevent a total collapse of university entrance procedures, the police investigation should be swift and thorough. Police must identify students involved in cheating. No students should enter universities with false test scores because of incomplete checks. For accurate and smooth evaluation of the test, the ministry wants the list of students whose examination results are to be discarded by this weekend. Police must investigate suspected students swiftly by assigning as many investigators as needed and tell the ministry of its results.