For the third time in two weeks, copies of a nation-wide high school matriculation exam (Bagrut) have been circulated in advance of the test – specifically in the Arab sector. In two cases, the test was cancelled, leaving tens of thousands of students high and dry after having studied intensively for days or weeks.
In a third case, which happened just this afternoon, the test was administered – but many hard-working students fear that their high marks will be undervalued by the many examinees who knew the questions in advance.
All three tests were leaked by Arab students – and their teachers and administrators are being investigated as well. The first incident occurred on Jan. 15, when the test in Arabic literature was canceled after it was found to have been circulated via WhatsApp. Education Ministry Director-General Michal Cohen ordered the cancellation, and said she had asked the police to investigate.
Copies of the tests arrive at the schools mere hours before they are to be administered, and are supposed to be kept under lock-and-key until the actual hour of the exam.
Just four days ago, a second exam was canceled, under similar circumstances. The invalidated exam was a three-unit test in mathematics, which 26,000 students around the country were supposed to take. Two hours before the test was to begin, the announcement was made that it would not be held. Many students expressed sharp frustration at the development.
Finally, just this afternoon, Channel 10 reported that the Arabic-language civics exam had also been compromised. One student reportedly said that she had seen a copy of the exam on WhatsApp about an hour before the test was to start. The test was held in any event, and the Education Ministry responded with an immediate denial that the test had been leaked.
One high school teacher told Arutz Sheva, "These acts affect not only Jews, but even Arab students. Many of them put in great efforts, only to be abruptly told that the test will be rescheduled at a later, unknown date – which could very well clash with their interviews for IDF recruitment and the National Service. The fact that it has happened twice or three times in such a short period means that the security measures in the schools where the tests were leaked are not being taken seriously."