The price of fairness

11 years ago, in the summer of 2008, the generation born in 1990, we entered the most important and thrilling exam in life, the university exam.

It was the last year of the college entrance exam under the old textbook program. So for girls born and raised in rural families like us, this exam is "birth - death" in many ways. If you do not pass the university that year, it means the opportunity to retake next year will be much more difficult because you have to revise under the new program. No passing, which means helping with the care and expectation of parents, relatives and the door of life will be ever more wandering than ever.

So, the closer it gets to the exam day, the more the examination pressure will weigh. Two mornings and afternoons, I study for exams in school. The night of extra classes until 9pm. After dinner, I continued studying until 11:00. The next morning, I get up from 3:00 am, review until dawn. Every day, I only sleep 4 hours. Just like that for over a month, I studied non-stop. Around the corner of the study table are the words of self-encouragement: Tuan, have to pass university; I will win; Oh Tuan, fighting; See you in college ...

Then the big exam also came. Dad collected money to sell rice and pigs, and took me to Ha Dong to take the exam. To save money, the father and son shared a room with about a dozen other people, sleeping on the floor.

I still remember very well, when I finished my first exam, Literature, I came near the gate and saw my father sweating profusely, standing in the scorching sun, holding a hat, holding a bottle of water, trying reaching through the school gate beckoning. Besides, there are many other fathers and mothers. Those parents patiently watched our students work for three hours. That scene was imprinted on my mind forever after.

After days of examinations, a long series of days the whole family waited anxiously for results. Then came the joy of breaking, when the notice came home. Later, my mother reminded those days as if living in a dream. That dream belongs to poor fathers and mothers, their whole life only wanted their children to pass the university entrance exams, so that their future will be brighter.

More than 10 years have passed, the three-year university exam is now gone, only the national high school exam is held in localities. In recent exam seasons, families in the countryside have not struggled hard to pack in big cities anymore. Students also have to practice for one exam instead of for the various exams like before. The goal of saving for society, reducing the pressure on parents and students of this test is somewhat effective.

But I can be sure that, if given the choice, families throughout the village like my parents will never accept "frugality" and have to worry about skepticism and transparency. degree by the exam. They will still spare their efforts and money to take their children to the university exams. They believe that the hard work will be offset by the fairness of the test results.

In the view of rural young people like me, college is the only way to create a sense of fairness, to find opportunities to change fate. What the whole society looks forward to in this exam is fairness. It should also be considered the ultimate goal of an exam, more than any other goal. "Saving" is not really a priority feature of this exam, given its meaning.

In recent days, the Ministry of Education and Training is also having to solve another unfinished exam from the previous year, how to prevent fraud. The provinces where fraudulent examinations have occurred, such as Ha Giang, Son La and Hoa Binh, have carefully selected officials to take the exams, with the police assessing many personal cycles. Many forms of strict handling with examination and grading officials violating exam regulations are in place.

But the question is: are these enough to make society - or millions of people, in particular, see college exams as the most significant opportunity to find equality - feel secure?

In the world, many countries are currently maintaining the general university entrance exam for the whole country. South Korea is famous for the Suneung University Exam (CSAT), China is famous for "high test". CSAT is also known as the "life and death arena" of Kim Chi students. On the test day, agencies and businesses must postpone working time to avoid traffic for candidates. Many road and air transportation vehicles around the school are prohibited so as not to cause noise to candidates.

The security of the "high" exams has become a legend: electronic scanners at the door of exam rooms such as airport security, special teams review the exam room with specialized signal detectors, CCTV report directly. examination room setting (even parents outside the gate can participate in mobile supervision). Candidates are identified by digital technology, avoiding the case of exam taking.

Of course, many can say that it is the story of a country richer than Vietnam. But every time I recall what I've been through, and the thousands of faces I've met and observed on exams during my years as a reporter, I believe few people feel the need to save on justice. While so many public investment projects are skeptical and opposed, no one will object if we start pouring money on the security of national examinations. Even if the investment process can take years, if we don't start now, we will never have peace of mind.

Human and process solutions are also important. But the errors related to people in us are too great. The concept of "strict handling" or "strict handling" - one of the solutions constantly raised by the education and police sector in this exam - is actually something that Vietnamese society is gradually taking .. immunity.

Investing in security technology to control nearly one million test sets in 40,000 exam rooms could reach tens of trillion dong. But I believe it will be the least criticized "trillion" project right now. Justice is priceless.

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