MOET to censor news on exam cheating
VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has requested press agencies to discuss with the competent agencies before they publish the news relating to the exam cheating.
The request has faced the strong opposition from people who have commented that this is the manifestation of the public opinion suppression.
Dr. Le Hong Son from the Ministry of Justice on May 20 told Nguoi lao dong that the ministry would examine the legitimacy of the Document No. 2998/2013 MOET sent to the chairs of provincial people’s committees, mentioning the organization of the national high school finals and the 2013 university entrance exams.
More and more officials have the right to instruct press agencies
The above said document requests the provincial people’s committees’ chairs to take the responsibility of instructing mass media to discuss with competent agencies before publishing the “sensitive pieces of news” relating to the exam cheating and wrongdoings.
“It is unacceptable,” Van Nhu Cuong, Associated Professor, Headmaster of the Luong The Vinh High School, commented.
“The press has its functions, rights and responsibilities and localities’ leaders must not intervene in press agencies’ operation,” Cuong said. “The laws only stipulate that press agencies must be responsible for the information they publish. No one can force press agencies to discuss with the competent agencies before they publish information.”
Another education expert has commented that more and more state’s officials have the right to direct mass media. MOET has many times called on people to join forces to settle the problems in the education sector and “declare war” with the exam cheating.
Therefore, it should create most favorable conditions for mass media to discover the wrongdoings and criticize the bad behaviors instead of attempting to control the information on newspapers.
“If the education sector tries to impose information blackout, the existing problems will never be settled,” he said.
Cuong said if the exam councils strictly follow the regulations and they understand that they would be heavily punished in case wrongdoings occur, exams would be organized in a transparent and fair way. If problems occur, they need to be made public, so that the relevant parties can learn from the mistakes.
Fighting against wrongdoings by concealing information
Son from the Ministry of Justice said after the exam cheating at the Doi Ngo High School in Bac Giang province was discovered, MOET has been taking drastic measures to stop exam cheating. However, with the document, the ministry seems to try to conceal existing problems.
Dr. Vu Duc Khien, former Chair of the National Assembly’s Legal Committee, affirmed that the MOET’s instruction violates the Press Law. The law stipulates that press agencies have the right to report news without the censorship from any agencies, provided that they take responsibility for the accuracy of the information.
Khien said the MOET’s instruction may make the press agencies’ wings clipped.
Senior Lieutenant General Dang Van Hieu, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Public Security, has requested the local police stations to take necessary measures to ensure the security for the high school finals and the university entrance exams.
Explaining the decision, Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan said he just warns press agencies to keep cautious when reporting the news relating to the exams, because any false information would badly affect examinees’ psychology and affect their exam results.