Vietnam teacher leaks test questions to neighbor as ‘return of favor’


Updated : 05/20/2017 15:00 GMT + 7

A teacher in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta believed that leaking questions of a final examination to the son of a neighbor who has greatly supported him in life is the best way to pay his gratitude forward.

On May 9, eleventh graders at schools across Dong Thap Province were ready to sit for their math and history final tests when they were informed that the exams were canceled in the last minutes as the questions had been leaked online the night before.

Police had launched a probe into the leak, and announced on Friday that Bui Ngoc An, one of the teachers with access to the test papers before the exams, was behind the leak.

On May 6, An, 54, deliberately took the math and history questions to his home and later handed them to L.T.T., one of his neighbors and the boss of his wife, according to police investigation.

With T. having hugely helping the teacher’s family, An wanted to help her son, who is bad at math and history, to earn good results at the upcoming tests as a return of favor.

Upon receiving the test papers from An, T. asked her son to note down every question into a separate sheet of paper before burning all the ‘precious’ documents.

What the three had not expected was that An’s own son, a college student, had come across the test papers before the teacher brought them to T. and had secretly took photos of the documents.

The college student then sent the test questions to Th., one of his friends, who is also an 11th grader, via Facebook Messenger.

Th. quickly shared the test papers among his classmates, and the documents were secretly leaked to other students of his school and eventually, all high schools in Dong Thap.

The incident was only known to teachers and the province’s education authorities after a student named Nguyen Phuoc D. publicly shared the leaked questions on Facebook on the night of May 8.

Photo of the leaked test paper

The provincial education department was immediately briefed of the situation that night and decided to cancel the math and history tests the following morning.

Students were later arranged to sit for the tests with back-up questions.

‘Deeply grateful’

The ‘question leaker’ has admitted all his faults when summoned to work with police.

The teacher, however, could breathe a sigh of relief as police have confirmed that he would not be criminally charged as the incident was detected and handled properly before leading to any serious consequences.

An told Tuoi Tre on Friday that he was so deeply grateful to T. that he had such a shallow thought when leaking the questions to her son.

“I had only wanted to help him well-prepared before the exam,” the teacher said.

An said he is ready to receive any punishment or disciplinary action.

“I regret what I have done and feel ashamed to the education sector, to my school, colleagues and students.”

Dong Thap education department is still considering the punishment for individuals involved in the incident, department head Tran Thanh Liem said on Friday.

This entry was posted in Ethics, Teacher's ethics and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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