NEWS

Pupils in a fix after exam scam

Hundreds of students from 13 private schools in Athens and Thessaloniki have learned that the examinations they sat in May for the two-year International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma may not produce certificates in time for them to meet university application deadlines, after allegations emerged that a Greek teacher got hold of the test papers in advance and leaked them to his pupils in exchange for payment. According to officials at the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), a nongovernment organization affiliated with the United Nations that is best known for offering the respected IB diploma, a Greek teacher allegedly obtained this year’s IB examination papers from a source in Geneva, where the IBO is based, before distributing them to pupils. The teacher, who has not been identified, is alleged to have received significant payment for his illicit initiative. According to teachers who work with the IB syllabus in Greece, around 1,000 pupils sat the examinations in May. Another 1,500 are currently in their first year of the syllabus. The problem is that it remains unclear how many of these pupils benefited from a sneak preview of the exam papers. According to IBO officials, who have been investigating the claims since early last month when they emerged, the teacher in question had been in contact with students at six different schools. The teacher was forced to resign from his post in the wake of the claims, sources said. Now all the students who sat the examinations must wait indefinitely for an ongoing investigation to conclude before the results are issued, the IBO revealed in a letter sent to all private schools offering the IB syllabus. «They haven’t told us that the examinations will be declared null and void,» an IB teacher in Greece told Kathimerini. «But, unfortunately, that worst trait of the Greek character emerged in one teacher, striking the heart of a very serious educational institution.»