Fri, May 30, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Military expels five students for cheating

FIRM DECISION Students who apologized for cheating on their final exams and sought the aid of lawmakers say the military was too harsh in moving to expel them

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Five students from the Chinese Military Academy apologize yesterday for cheating on their final exams. They also criticized the academy for what they called its unjust handling of the matter.

PHOTO: CNA

The superintendent of the Chinese Military Academy, Lieutenant-General Yang Kuo-chiang (楊國強), said yesterday the academy will stand by its decision to expel five students who were caught cheating on their final exams in March.

The decision comes despite the students having apologized and sought the help of a KMT lawmaker.

"A mistake is a mistake. A real man should face his own mistakes bravely, needless to say they were soldiers. This is disgraceful," Yang said. "We handled this case by the rules and there is nothing wrong with expelling them for what they did. As they were expelled, it is impossible for them to return."

Yang made his remarks at a press conference yesterday morning in response to the five students -- Wang Wei-hsin (王維新), Wen Chi-yuan (溫啟元), Yen Chen-bang (葉振邦), Chou Kai-hung (周凱宏) and Chen Chi-hsiung (陳吉雄) -- requesting help and asking for a chance to return to the campus.

Yang said the students' behavior was a disgrace to soldiers.

"I am sorry that we have to let them go. But, except for life, honor is the second-most important thing to a soldier. Once a soldier disgraces himself, he shall be punished or relieved from his post," he said.

According to an academy press release, six senior students -- the five and Lee Kun-lin (李坤霖) -- were caught by supervisors cheating on their final exams on March 3 and March 6.

Wang was an intern commanding officer of a brigade, which was a superior position among his fellow students.

On May 15, the academy decided to punish them according to rules requiring that students caught cheating be expelled.

Lee accepted the punishment but the others sought help from lawmakers.

On Wednesday, they arrived at the Legislative Yuan, bowed in front of the camera, said they were sorry for what they did and would like a chance to finish school.

On Wednesday night, they appeared on a TV talk show. But they were unable to answer a question from an 11-year-old child who called in and asked, "Teachers always taught us to be honest for exams. Why do you dare to ask for forgiveness after you cheated?"

At a press conference held by KMT Legislator Kuan Wo-juan (關沃暖) yesterday, the students again bowed and asked for forgiveness, while, at a separate press conference, their superintendent angrily rejected their request.

Students at military academies do not have to pay tuition but they have to serve for at least 10 years after graduation. If they drop out for any reason before they finish school, however, they will have to pay the tuition fees, which for a four-year program total NT$750,000.

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