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Indictment Over ‘Scheme Boosting Politically-Connected Kids’ School Results’

Monday, 15 August 2016, 13:08

On July 27, the Prosecutor General’s Office forwarded an indictment against the former Director of the Ukrainian Center for Educational Quality Assessment Ihor Likarchuk, his two deputies and four other people to court, the GPU press service reports on August 15.

The above individuals are accused of unlawful alteration of the results of external independent evaluation, embezzlement and laundering of funds of the state budget and American Councils for International Education in accordance with a number of articles of the Criminal Code.

According to the investigation, the top officials of the Center meddled with computer systems to manually improve the results of the external independent testing of university applicants. "In 2014 and 2015, the Center inflated the results of over 200 students, the total number since 2008 is over 2000," the GPU informs.

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The unlawful improvement of the test results provided leverage in access to university education for hundreds of students, "mainly children of top government officials, law enforcers, MPs and their assistants. This limited the access to education for talented youths."

According to the investigation, most employees at the Center, as well as at Donetsk, Lviv, Dnipro, and Kherson regional centers have not been involved in the fraud, "almost all unlawful actions have been committed by the top officials of the Center."

The pretrial investigation on "creating a criminal organization, embezzlement and legalization of over ₴4 million, overstatement of the results of external independent testing in 2014–2015" has been completed. 26 students who submitted false information have already been expelled, and the documents regarding 174 other students have been forwarded to their educational institutions.

The pretrial investigation for the offenses committed in 2008–2013 is being conducted separately. After it is completed, the scope of responsibility of students who submitted false information when applying to university will be decided (annulment of their diplomas, reimbursement of the cost of their education to the budget, restoration of the rights of individuals affected by unlawful actions).

In 2016, the Center managed to carry out external independent evaluation, although only the members of the ‘criminal organization’ had access to the software.

Examples of alteration of the test results: original results (L) and altered results (R)

 
 
 

Source: Olena Roshchenko, Ukrayinska Pravda

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