Teachers face charges for faking grades

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Teachers face charges for faking grades

A case involving the principal and two teachers of a private girls’ high school in Gwangju was sent to prosecutors on charges of fabricating the school records of 25 students in order to help them gain admission to good colleges, police said Wednesday.

The three educators are suspected to have either raised the test scores of 12 students in the 11th grade and 13 students in the 12th grade or lied about their extracurricular activities.

Authorities did not say exactly how many students were aware of the plot, but hinted that “several” must have known because they were called into the teacher’s office and specifically asked what details the teachers could add to their documents to make them look better.

Some parents were said to have paid each teacher about 2 million won ($1,828) for the service, said police.

In a country where the reputation of a high school heavily relies on the sheer number of graduates that go to prominent universities, Lee Jae-hyun, head of the Intelligence Division at Gwangju Metropolitan Police Agency, said the suspects’ motives seem to be clear.

Police said the principal made a list of all the students that had top ranks in the school and ordered the two teachers to manage their track records starting in the 10th grade.

Ten other teachers at the same school have been separately booked on charges of tutoring the students and receiving cash from their parents, earning between 40,000 won and 50,000 won per hour.

Police have not sent them to prosecutors yet but said the principal most likely masterminded the tutoring sessions, as well, which profited a total of about 25 million won.

Authorities added that the principal misused 90 million won worth of funds handed down by the state and city governments, in part by paying the 10 teachers who offered private lessons.

Aside from helping underachieving students catch up on their studies, the fund was supposed to be put toward the school’s clubs, career-related activities and the parents’ association.

Gwangju’s education authority vowed to penalize the principal and all 12 teachers who were busted in the latest crackdown.

BY KIM HO, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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