Local sub-committees of the teacher civil service agency say they do not want the responsibility of deciding whether to overturn fraudulent test results after rampant cheating was found in assistant teacher exams.
The move follows last week's decision by the Office of the Teacher Civil Service and Educational Personnel Commission (OTEPC) to forward evidence of cheating from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI)'s probe and the Education Ministry to all 129 local sub-committees.
The exam was held to recruit 2,000 assistant teachers nationwide.
Each sub-committee was asked to consider whether to revoke exam results within 15 days of receiving the investigation reports, Deputy Education Minister Sermsak Pongpanich said.
"The OTEPC has no power to revoke the results by itself despite clear evidence of cheating," Mr Sermsak said.
The DSI has recommended some of the exam results be revoked in some areas.
The DSI said 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 exam in their place.
Hidden communication devices were also used during the testing, it said.
The local sub-committees, however, say they should not have to decide whether to overturn the exams.
Sanit Polsri, of OTEPC's sub-committee in Chaiyaphum Primary Educational Service Area Office 1, said many sub-committees think the OTEPC should make the final decision.
"OTEPC and the Office of the Basic Education Commission [Obec], which organised the exams, should show more responsibility," he said.
"Otherwise, OTEPC and Obec could face malfeasance charges according to Article 157 of the penal code," he said.
Thongbai Wiengsima, of OTEPC's sub-committee in Roi Et Primary Educational Service Area Office 1, said recruitment and testing of assistant teachers is typically organised by each provincial sub-committee, but that power was recently taken over by the Obec.
"When cheating occurs, it should not be thrown back to the sub-committees to deal with," he said.
The sub-committees should not be asked to decide whether to overturn the rest results and will not follow OTEPC's conclusion, he added.
Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana said OTEPC sub-committees have the power to decide whether to cancel exam results, and they would be able to consult with the ministry's inspector-general to make their decisions.
He said the process to root out cheats would move more quickly if the sub-committees handled it.
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- Writer: Lamphai Intathep