China drafts law to curb exam cheating

2008-01-24 18:48:47 Xinhua English

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- China is drafting a law to combat rampant exam cheating, said the country's education ministry on Wednesday.

The draft will be submitted to the Office of Legislative Affairs of the State Council for approval later this year, said the Education Ministry spokesman Wang Xuming.

The examination law will "upgrade exam order and standards", Wang was quoted by China Daily as saying.

Students have adopted innovative ways to cheat, and authorities want to discourage it with tough penalties, he said.

More than 1.2 million students sat this year's postgraduate examination last weekend and numerous cheats were exposed.

In Shanxi province, authorities cracked down on 10 groups involved in organized cheating, and in Guangdong province, some cheaters were caught using two-way radios to communicate during exams.

In a recent survey by China Youth Daily, 83 percent of the 900 college students polled admitted to cheating in exams.

Without a legal regulation, schools and universities have adopted various measures to punish cheats. On occasion, cases have gone to court.

Current punishments, according to Ministry of Education regulations, include a mandatory fail.

On Tuesday, the education ministry held a seminar on examination law involving dozens of legal experts.

Professor Yang Lixin from the Renmin University of China, said the exam law was urgent because the country had no "unified regulations".

"Currently, anyone can hold an exam and disputes can occur over procedures and results as there are no rules," he said.