Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia to recheck school medal awards

14 July 2017
Graduation ceremony in Cherkessk (kchr.ru)

Following a wave of criticism, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science (Rosobrnadzor) in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia and the republics’ ministries of education will recheck the results of school leaving exams for graduates who received gold medals, as a disproportionate number were awarded there. The results will be announced by the end of this month, state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported.

On 11 July, the head of Rosobrnadzor, Yevgeny Semchenko announced the results of the school leaving examinations submitted by the ministers of education of all Russian regions. According to the official, graduates of North Caucasian schools received more medals than anyone. Pupils from Karachay–Cherkessia lead the statistics, with 20% of graduates receiving medals. Adygea and Kabardino-Balkaria followed with around 18% and 17%, respectively.

The numbers are also high for Stavropol and Krasnodar Krais and Rostov Oblast, much higher than the Russian average — not more than 10% of graduates receive such medals in other areas. For example, in Moscow 8.9% received medals, while in St Petersburg 7.1% did.

In Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia, Rosobrnadzor’s data has been received with scepticism, prompting the local ministries to reinspect this year’s results. The results of the audit will be announced on 26 July.

The first deputy minister of education of Karachay–Cherkessia, Yelizaveta Semyonova, confirmed to RIA Novosti that the audit would be held.

One of the reasons for the inspection is a recent incident in Adygea in June. During an award ceremony, one of the medal winners accused her classmate of an undeserved medal, saying that her mother, who worked as an official in the local education department, helped her. Immediately after the scandal, the official resigned and her daughter returned the medal.

According to Russian law, the recipients of medals receive an extra two points in their Unified State Exam results, which often secures their admission to universities. There is widespread negative sentiment against the high numbers of North Caucasian students in Russian universities, despite the low quality of education in the North Caucasian republics.

Press agency Regnum quoted Ingushetia’s minister of education, Yusup Kostoyev, as saying that Ingushetia was not going to recheck their exam results, despite the the number of medalists in the republic increasing from 58 to 173 this year.

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