Ministry Suspends Teacher in Exam Leak

Education Ministry director-general Shimshon Shoshani yesterday suspended a teacher suspected of leaking questions from this year's mathematics bagrut (matriculation exam ).

Shoshani's decision to suspend Rachel Kedem followed the police announcement that they were investigating her on suspicion of fraud, breach of trust and the unauthorized disclosure of official information for her alleged role in the leak. Her case will now be sent to the Civil Service Commission for possible disciplinary action.

Police suspect that Kedem, a member of the committee that writes the math bagrut, asked Erez Cohen, a lecturer at the Technion's preparatory institute, for an opinion on the proposed questions. Cohen, who also works as a private tutor, allegedly gave the exam paper to one of his students, Kyril Ruhovitz, who then reportedly sold it to others for NIS 1,000 apiece. In this way, police believe, hundreds of students were able to see the questions before the scheduled exam date.

Police expect to complete their probe later this week and pass on their findings to the prosecution who will then decide whether to indict. As of now, they plan to recommend charging all three of the main suspects, but not any of the students who allegedly resold the exam to others after buying it from Ruhovitz.

Shoshani suspended Kedem following two hearings, at which she was allowed to present her defense. Kedem's attorney, Sigal Pail, blasted the decision, saying the ministry never issued clear rules governing the conduct of exam committee members, and it was therefore unfair to punish Kedem for violating them.