Entrance exams annulled after scandal

BELGRADE -- The Republic Exams Commission has annulled the results of the high school entrance exams in Serbia.

Children take the Serbian language test last week in Niš, southern Serbia (Beta)
Children take the Serbian language test last week in Niš, southern Serbia (Beta)

The commission decided that students will enroll in high schools in on the basis of their elementary school grades and success in competitions, Beta reported.

The exams were annulled because mathematics and Serbian language tests were stolen from the Official Gazette printing room.

Prime Minister Ivica Dačić said the possible responsibility of Education Minister Žarko Obradović for the stolen elementary school exam questions "will be decided when government restructuring is on the agenda."

"I don't intend to defend anybody, the police have established what they've established. The theft of the tests took place in the printing room," Dačić said on Monday.

Speaking on Tuesday, Obradović's assistant Zoran Kostić said that two criminal acts were committed - theft and forgery - and that "the prosecution should also investigate it."

He explained that the worker at the printing room stole "one test each day for five days," and that "investigative activities" are now under way.

According to Kostić, the "basic message" of the case is that - "knowledge cannot be obtained through fraud."

As for Obradović's responsibility, his assistant asked why the minister should resign, "considering that everything was done in a timely manner and all decisions had been made."

Kostić also noted that the Education Ministry has a contract with the Prosvetni Pregled publisher, which was in turn under obligation to secure secrecy and protect the data contained in the tests, and said the ministry was the party that suffered damage, "and will have to undertake measures."