Special Team to Probe Claims of Systematic Cheating in Schools

The Jakarta Globe
Special Team to Probe Claims of Systematic Cheating in Schools

The city has vowed to probe allegations of systematic cheating after a mother’s complaint that her son’s school in South Jakarta gave students the answers to May’s national examinations.

Winda Lubis has reported State Elementary School (SDN) 06 Pesanggrahan to the National Commission for Child Protection (Komnas Anak) for allegedly providing answers to a handful of students who then distributed the cheat sheets to other students via text message.

These efforts, Winda told the commission, involved her own son, a sixth-grade student.

Mara Oloan Siregar, assistant to the city secretary for people’s welfare, said an investigative team would be established comprising members from the Jakarta Education Office, Komnas Anak as well as education experts from the city’s major universities.

“During the course of the investigation, we are going to protect students from this physically and psychologically,” he said.

Separately, Winda’s son told reporters at City Hall on Thursday that he was instructed by his teacher to “help” other students during the exams — and that they were to keep all of this a secret.

“I didn’t like the idea of cheating,” he said. “For the national exams, I’d prefer to get a bad mark through my own efforts than get good grades because I cheated.

“Moreover, my mother always told me that I have to be honest no matter what,” he added.

“And I also prepared for the national exams, so why would I cheat? Even if I did receive the answers, I wouldn’t want to see it. It goes against my principles.

“So this is why I didn’t want to distribute the answers.”

Erni Andriani, the parent of another of the school’s students, told the Jakarta Globe that she supported Winda coming forward and reporting the case because she felt let down by the school.

“I had prepared my child to take the national exams and I feel so sad and disappointed that this happened,” she said.

“This is not what I want for my child. Therefore, I support Winda’s moves in following up this case.”

Agus Suradika, deputy chief of the Jakarta Education Office, said his office would investigate the allegation by thoroughly checking the pattern of answers from the national exams.

Komnas Anak’s chairman, Arist Merdeka Sirait, however, said students should not have to retake the exams.

“I will totally reject this because this is not the solution. If a student has to retake an exam, it is as if the student was the one who made the mistake, when this is not the case,” he said.

“We expect the results of the in-depth investigation into the systematic cheating to come up with a resolution on how best to fix this matter, and problems such as this in the future.”

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