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24 teachers caught illegally selling exam questions to private educators

16:22 September 19, 2023

SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) – Twenty-four high school teachers have been caught selling exam questions to private academies before or after serving as test makers for the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) and mock CSAT exams in violation of the current laws, the education ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry said it will file criminal complaints against four of the teachers on charges of obstruction of business and ask for an investigation into 22 of them on suspicion of violating anti-graft laws. Two of them will face both criminal complaints and investigation, it added.

Vice Education Minister Jang Sang-yoon announces the results of a crackdown on illegal activities by teachers in a news conference in the central city of Sejong on Sept. 19, 2023. (Yonhap)

The four teachers facing criminal complaints are accused of serving as CSAT and mock CSAT test makers after hiding the fact that they sold practice exam questions to private education companies, it said.

On the other hand, the 22 teachers facing an investigation have been caught selling exam questions to private companies after participating in CSAT and mock CSAT test-making, it said. All CSAT test makers are obliged by law to keep all test-related information confidential.

The ministry said one of the 24 teachers was found to have pocketed nearly 500 million won (US$377,000) from the sale of practice exam questions and many others earned more than 100 million won each. In addition, some of the disgraced teachers took part in CSAT or mock CSAT test-making activities five or six times.

The ministry said it also plans to request an investigation for 21 private education companies suspected of buying exam questions from the teachers.

The latest crackdown on suspicious collusion between public and private educators came as part of the government's efforts to reduce private education expenses through a fair CSAT and by eliminating extremely difficult questions from the CSAT.

Spending on private education for primary, middle and high school students soared to a record 26 trillion won last year, despite a 0.9 percent fall in the total number of students.

The CSAT, held on the third Thursday of November every year, is one of the nation's most important academic events, as it is the culmination of years of hard work for many students anxious to enter top universities. Several mock CSAT exams are administered prior to the CSAT.


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