NEARLY 80 percent of the 86,610 high school students who took the national exam last month earned passing scores, according to data from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, marking a 6 percent increase over last year.
Chroeng Lim Sry, the director of the ministry's high schools department, said on Friday that 67,377 students - roughly 78 percent of those who sat for the exam - had passed.
Results were made public in Phnom Penh and Kandal province on Friday, and results for all other provinces were posted Saturday.
Chroeng Lim Sry said the results indicated that the quality of instruction in the Kingdom's schools might have improved over last year, when only 70.7 percent of the 77,178 students who took the national exam passed.
But Cambodian Independent Teachers Association President Rong Chhun cautioned against reading too much into the scores.
"The high percentage of students passing the exam has not shown their real capacity," he said. "There have been irregularities, like bribing officials for answers and leaking the contents of the math section before the exam."
But Chroeng Lim Sry said the heightened security presence while the exam was being administered had cut down on cheating.
Chan Kham Kheour, director of the education department in Ratanakkiri province, said Friday that she believed fewer students had resorted to cheating this year on account of the security.
"We wanted to see the real capacity of the students," she said.