Source AP ©

Twenty-six Vietnamese teachers accused of taking bribes

Twenty-six teachers and education officials in southern Vietnam are charged with taking bribes from more than 1,700 students to help them pass their graduation exams.

The defendants were charged with accepting bribes of 533 million dong (US$33,000; EUR 22,283) to illegally raise the scores of 1,740 high school students last year in Bac Lieu province, said court official Tran Van Khang.

The Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper reported Monday that the case was uncovered in June last year when police arrested Nguyen Quoc Nghiem, a local teacher, for allegedly receiving bribes of 88 million dong (US$5,500; EUR 3,713) from the parents of 11 students to help them pass the exams.

More than 6,600 students took graduation exams in the province last year, it said.

Court official Khang said sentencing was expected Friday.

Last year, Vietnam launched a campaign to clean up rampant cheating in education. Authorities broke up a ring in which more than 20 students each paid them up to 50 million dong (US$3,125; EUR 2,110) for wigs and shirts that were wired to mobile phones, allowing them to cheat on their college entrance exams by calling in test questions and answers.

Hanoi police confiscated 50 mobile phones, 60 earphones, 150 SIM cards, eight shirts and five wigs during a raid in July last year.