Wednesday, December 12, 2007

[Guinean news] Crackdown on academic corruption

The IRIN news service reports on an unprecedented crackdown on academic corruption in Guinea.

It notes that for the first time in the country's history, professors have been suspended on charges of corruption and students have been fined or jailed for cheating in exams.

Higher Education Minister Ousmane Souaré, who was once part of a teachers' union, told IRIN, "Up to now these practices have been accepted. It was a system of utter disarray and carelessness and this had to be stopped."

During exams this year the common practices of buying crib sheets, accessing tips by mobile phone or having a friend take a test did not work: Many students wrote frantic notes to the education minister on their exam papers, or simply left them blank.

The minister instituted new procedures, such as banning cell phones and allowing only test takers to be on campus during exams.

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