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Exam scandal in the International Baccalaureate program

14 July 2009 / 10:07:09  GRReporter
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A student was caught with the essay topic for the International Baccalaureate exam and it became evident that the information was sold for a very big amount. A commission arrived in Greece, “in order to clarify the conditions, which threatened the exams,” as confirmed by the director of the organization Ian Hill. International Baccalaureate is a program, which theoretically opens the door for students to some of the best universities in the world.

As announced by Katemerini newspaper, according to the most updated information, it seems that the Greek teacher Konstantinos Mitzios, working in the “Nea Genia-Ziridi” private school, who was also the coordinator of the International Baccalaureate program, had taken the essay topics from his friends in Geneva and distributed them among Greek students for a lot of money.

The teacher was questioned by representatives of IBO in Geneva at the beginning of June, after which he resigned and a commission was sent to Greece to research the case of how many students and teachers have participated in the plot.

According to primary data, the teacher was in touch with students from six private schools, which worried all parents. Until now the test results have not come out and the students might miss the admission deadlines for the foreign universities. In case it is proven that a school was part of the conspiracy, then it can lose its right to work.

“Exam security is a very serious subject, which requires us to act, in order to ensure the quality of education of future IB candidates,” added Mr. Hill. There was a scandal for test answers leak last year as well and this is making foreign universities suspicious of Greek students.

IB is a two year prestigious program, which does not follow the education program of the Greek Education Ministry, regarding its teaching methods, studying and examination. The program is famous for its success and more and more schools worldwide are starting to apply it, because it gives prestige to the school and student who graduate from it, get the chance to attend some of the best universities in the world. This also increases tuition costs, which means that only the richest families in Greece and abroad can afford it.

The idea for International Baccalaureate came along 41 years ago in Switzerland. Right now 500 000 students in 2 300 schools, from 127 countries are studying in the IB program. Thirteen are the schools in Greece, which offer this program: American Community Schools of Athens, CampioSchool, Kosteas-Gitonas, Doukas, Gitonas, Psychico College, I.M. Panayotopoulos, International School of Athens, Moraitis, Nea Genia-Ziridis, St. Catherine’s British Embassy School of Athens, Anatolia College, Pinewood Schools of Thessaloniki.

Annually between 1000 and 1200 students graduate from this program in Greece and they pay between ?12 000 and ?15 000 per year.

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