Indonesia government mulls exam do-over

Indonesia government mulls exam do-over
A fine of NT$600,000 (S$26,080) has been issued to an individual who offered to write essays and theses for university students.

JAKARTA - The government is considering a redo of the national exam at schools where students were suspected of cheating by obtaining exam materials ahead of time.

Culture and Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Anies Baswedan said Thursday that a final decision would be made after the results of the national exam were released.

"We will see the results [first]. We will know everything within the next three days," he announced at the ministry's office in Senayan, Central Jakarta.

Anies said the final results would also allow the ministry to detect instances of systematic cheating.

Anies, however, played down the suspicions that the leaks and cheating had been widespread.

He said the 30 packages of leaked material were minuscule compared to the total number of national exam packages, which stood at 11,730.

The Indonesian Teachers Unions Federation (FSGI) earlier said they had received reports from students who said the leaked materials had reached a large number of students.

Earlier on Thursday, Vice President Jusuf Kalla urged the ministry to conduct a redo of the exam for those students that had benefi ted from the leak.

Anies said in the event of a repeat exam, firms hired to print the exam materials would foot the bill.

"They will cover the cost, if we can prove that they were guilty [of leaking the classified documents]," he said.

The police raided the office of a state-owned printing firm contracted to print the documents on Wednesday and identified an employee of the company who could have been responsible for the leak.

The police seized a hard drive, a CPU, a scanner, memory sticks and a CCTV security camera in the raid.

The national exam documents were reportedly available online for three days, from Saturday to Monday, before being deleted by Google after a request from the ministry.

National Police detective unit chief Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso said Thursday that police had named a suspect in the case.

"Only one. He was the one who [is suspected of] opening up the [leaked documents]," Budi said.

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Agus Rianto, meanwhile, said that Nizam, the head of the ministry's Educational Evaluation Center (Puspendik), had fi led a police report against four individuals from the company.

Although investigators have questioned 12 employees from the company, they have yet to decide whether the alleged leak was the work of one individual or a group.

"The suspects could face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of Rp 5 billion [S$550,000] if found guilty of violating articles 32 and 3 of the [Information and Electronic Transactions] ITE law and Article 322 of the KUHP [Criminal Code]," he said.

FSGI secretary-general Retno Listyarti said Thursday that the ministry did not need to re-administer the test.

"There's no need for a retake. Just use this case as a lesson to show that education policy is mostly half-baked," she said.

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