Author Topic: EXAM FRAUD: Negligence probe looms for Obec's Chinnapat  (Read 818 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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Negligence probe looms for Obec's Chinnapat

A panel has been set up to investigate Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) secretary-general Chinnapat Bhumirat for alleged negligence of duty in the assistant teacher exam fraud.

Deputy Education Minister Sermsak Pongpanit said the disciplinary panel is chaired by Office of the Higher Education Commission secretary-general Apichart Jeerawut.

The panel was formed after a fact-finding team headed by education permanent secretary Panita Kambhu na Ayutthaya found Mr Chinnapat guilty of negligence of duty according to the Civil Service Act 2008.

Mr Sermsak said officials gathered evidence of widespread cheating in the assistant teacher exams held in January, but the Obec secretary-general ignored this evidence and continued to fill over 2,000 assistant teacher vacancies.

"If [Mr Chinnapat] had investigated the cheating suspicions at that time, it would not have caused such serious damage," Mr Sermsak said.

"Reports [of possible cheating] had been submitted to Obec, but there was no order to investigate, so the problem was not solved in time."

He said it was likely Mr Chinnapat would be transferred during the probe, although a decision on moving him would rest with the probe panel.

Mr Sermsak said the disciplinary panel was asked to finish its investigation as quickly as possible.

If Mr Chinnapat is found guilty, he could be asked to resign, or be dismissed.

The Obec head will reach retirement age in October and his retirement benefits could be lost if he is found guilty.

Mr Chinnapat denies the accusations and says he welcomes the panel's probe as is will give him another chance to clear his name.

"What I have given [to the fact-finding panel] may not be the complete story, so this is another chance for me to provide more data," he said.

He said the Obec structure consisted of three levels _ a central part, education service zones and education institutions _ which each had their own duties and responsibilities.

Each part should take responsibility for its own administration, he said.

"Future Obec executives will face difficulties, because if a mistake happens, the whole organisation is blamed, instead of a certain level which should take responsibility for itself," he said.

Heads of primary education service area offices in Nakhon Ratchasima have promised to dismiss assistant teachers who are found to have cheated in their entry exams.

Sompop Sakditthanont, director of the Nakhon Ratchasima Primary Educational Service Area Office 4, of the Office of the Teacher Civil Service and Educational Personnel Commission, approved the dismissals on May 17, as requested by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

In the seven primary education service areas in Nakhon Ratchasima a total of 48 assistant teachers will be sacked.

Exam papers and answers were leaked in four northeastern provinces _ Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Yasothon and Nakhon Ratchasima _ and many applicants used imposters to sit the exams in their place, the DSI found. The test was a special-round examination to fill about 2,400 assistant-teacher vacancies.

The DSI probe found discrepancies in 486 out of the 9,242 exam papers.

Bangkok Post