Opinion / From the Press

Fraud exposes loophole in gaokao

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-24 07:12

sheng   Media reports say that some people have been running a racket to "help" students clear the college entrance examination (or gaokao) in Henan province. They hire college students to take the exam in place of real candidates in exchange for huge sums of money. More disturbing is the involvement of some insiders, such as invigilators and supervision officials in this racket, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

According to the reports, racketeers say they can use "substitute" students to take the gaokao and supervision officials are paid handsomely to turn a blind eye to the practice. Most of the "substitute" students are "chosen" from among college students, who are paid according to their "performance".

Usually, it costs about 70,000 yuan ($11,207) to buy off a supervision official, and 20,000 to 50,000 yuan is paid to each "substitute" student. And if the real candidate gets admission to a top university, he/she has to pay more to the racketeers.

Although this is the first such fraud to be reported in Henan, it has cast a big shadow on social equality because it denies many deserving candidates a chance to fulfill their dream of getting higher education.

What the public worries most about is how the racket could go on undetected. Is it because of the involvement of insiders? Or, is there more to it than meets the eye? More importantly, is the racket confined to Henan, or is it operating in other provinces and regions too?

The exposure of the racket shows that there are enough loopholes in the gaokao supervision system for fraudsters to exploit. So apart from getting to the root of such frauds and plugging the loopholes, the authorities should also take measures to punish the insiders who help run such a racket.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

(China Daily 06/24/2014 page9)

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