Haris Supratno, the rector of Surabaya State University, said a group of state university rectors throughout the country had agreed not to use the national exams as an academic requirement for entrance to their universities.
“It’s common knowledge that cheating occurs during the national exams,” Haris said.
“We have spoken to [National Education] Minister Mohammad Nuh about this issue, and he understands. We need more time to evaluate this matter, at least until 2012.”
Under the current system for gaining admission to a state university, high school students are required to take the national exams before undergoing another test, the State University National Entrance Test (SNMPTN). Students only need to pass the national exams, regardless of the score, to be eligible to take the SNMPTN.
The result of the SNMPTN is the one used by state universities in determining which students to accept.
The National Education Ministry has urged state university officials to use the results of the national exams along with the SNMPTN in determining admission, but the officials have rejected the proposal because of the incidents of cheating.
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The SNMPTN includes tests on academic aptitude, basic competency and specific subjects relevant to the intended major of applicants.
There are two other national exams at lower educational levels — one administered to elementary school students who hope to reach junior high school, and another to junior high school students who hope to make it to senior high school.
Unlike the national high school exams, the higher the students score in the two lower-level exams, the better their chances are of making it through.
The National Education Standardization Agency (BSNP) said recently that university lecturers would play a greater role in monitoring students during the national exams next year.
Mungin Eddy Wibowo, an official at the agency, said the lecturers would be authorized to enter classrooms if they suspected that cheating was going on. He said students caught cheating would have their exams thrown out.
“In 2012, we will evaluate all of these measures. If we see that the schools have improved and no incident of cheating is reported, then we will consider the results of [the national exams] as part of the prerequisite to enter a state university,” Mungin said.
“But if there are still students who are caught cheating, we will postpone a decision once again.”
In SNMPTN every eye exam will be assessed based on their rank on a scale of zero to one hundred before the value is summed with the other exams. Therefore, every eye exam should be done as possible and nothing is overlooked.