Probing students' claims does credit to college entrance examination
On Saturday night, the provincial discipline inspection commission and supervisory commission of Central China's Henan province released the results of their investigation into claims by four students that their answer sheets in the national college entrance exam (gaokao) might have been exchanged with those for lower points. Beijing News comments:
The provincial discipline inspection commission and supervisory commission not only announced the result of their investigation, which found the answer sheets had not been exchanged, but also released in detail how they conducted the probe.
According to their release, they have watched all the video records starting from the exam rooms to the marking of the exams, talked with the parents of the attendees, the exam monitors, the staff who marked the exams, as well as the staff that were alleged to have done the swap.
With the release of the investigation result and the details of how it was conducted, people's suspicions of possible corruption in the exam process, which were voiced online, have been dispelled.
However, the attendees and their parents who made the claims should not be vilified. When a student gets a much lower score than expected in the national college entrance exam, it is natural for him or her to wonder whether there is any mistake in the marking process. Every examinee and her or his family have the right to raise their concerns, and they can ask for a review of the exam papers via legal procedures.
Similar incidents have happened in the past, in which the exam authorities conducted the investigations. This time the local supervisory watchdogs intervened, because the parents suggested that the exam authorities might be involved.
Some say this is a waste of public resources and worry more attendees might follow suit. That worry is unnecessary, because the investigation has actually helped the national college entrance exam system regain public trust. Attendees and their parents might be more cautious in challenging the exam results in the future.
The supervision system should welcome all challenges and respect everyone's legal right to raise doubts. The incident also teaches all supervision commissions nationwide a lesson, namely the more transparent their investigations are, the more public trust they will gain.