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17 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Question paper leak in public examinations

The frequent incidence of leaking out question paper is a grave concern for the nation
Sheikh Abdullah-Al-Nokee
Question paper leak in public examinations

The unfair and illegal practice of question paper leak has been prevailing as a severe problem in the education sector of Bangladesh for the last couple of years. Every public examination of our national education system, from PSC to HSC, is being controversial continuously for question paper leak because it brings forth uneven competition and results and lowers the quality of education. The frequent incidence of leaking out question paper prior to the examination is a grave concern for the nation and tremendously disastrous for the creativity and innovative power of students.

In respect of public competitive exam in academic arena, examination is conceived as an assessment by which the knowledge, merit, skill and capability of a student is evaluated for the promotion in next stage of education. If questions continue to be leaked one after one, it makes the whole assessment highly polemical.

Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination of this year started on 1st February and the numbers of courses of examination have held till now, the questions of all courses have leaked conserving the trend of this heinous  malpractice of the last few years. In the age of technological advancement, it takes a very few moments to spread the leaked question paper in large arena covering a huge number of students. The leakers keeping themselves in high confidential positions reveal the question paper and make it circulated through virtual and social media.

In a research on “Question Leak in Public Examination: Process, Reason and way-forward” conducted by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) in 2015 claimed that the process of leaking question starts from long before while the question paper remains in the stage of drafting.  But question started to gradually leak a few days before the respective examination.  At that time some questions are seen similar to the main question and some are very dissimilar to main question. But the completely main question is found in the night before the examination. This research also claims that MCQ paper has higher tendency to be leaked in previous night of particular examination.

The substance of this research also resembles with the opinion of eminent expert Dr Md Kaykobad who is an assistant professor of BUET. He has put his valuable remarks in an interview with a national daily regarding this fact that “The question papers actually get leaked a long time before exams begin. However, since the perpetrators know the question papers will get changed if the leaked ones get circulated earlier, they are circulated earlier through the internet right before the day of exam.”

Some nefarious syndicates associated with question paper leak remain highly active just before the arrangement of public examination.  It’s an unfortunate matter of the nations that any stringent and effective measures from the high-up of authorities concerned are still not visible to extirpate these vested quarters with exception to some disjunct operations by law-enforcing agency which were so tiny in action in comparison with this extensive corrupt practice.

Instead of taking consolidated initiative against the offender of leaking question by the high official of administration, they are always observed to make some stereotypical remarks like – “Strict Punitive measures will be taken”, “the government is in high alert now”, “Social media is liable to spread leaked question” etc in lieu of considerate opinion and these hollow enunciation doesn’t make any sense to tackle this unethical practice. A few days back the government high up had taken very immature decision to shut down the internet services for two and half a hours on exam days. But in later, due to the intense repercussion the government retreated from its immature decision. It’s beyond my percipience why government is taking such undeliberate and uncoordinated initiative without focusing the root cause and factor of this corrupt practice.

The existing ‘Public Examination  (offences) Act-1980, (Amended-1992)’ has a special and articulated provisions to take punitive measures against the offenders concerned with leaking question by any means. But regrettable fact is that, any kind of compatible and exact law is bound to be futile and unsuccessful anywhere due to lack of proper implementation. This case has happened to Bangladesh as institutional arrangements are in a fragile structure that can’t make law to effective application.

As part of the remedial measure, the whole transmission system of question paper from the setting of question paper to the hand of examinee should be kept under strict monitoring and the social media should be taken under surveillance. TIB’s research doesn’t only focus on taking stern administrative initiative to stop leaking question paper but also insisted on changing the structural aspects of examination. Why not, the present generations are more earnestly hankering after achieving degree rather than acquiring knowledge. To develop the mental faculties of this generation, there is no alternative to introduce structural assessment system.

In conclusion it can be said that the people that matter are still in the dark since they do not know from when such evil practice will be stopped forever. Concerted endeavour of different agencies of government with changing public perception can contribute significantly to eradicating the unethical practice of leaking question paper and thereby a change in education can be initiated for a better Bangladesh.

The writer is a development activist and an independent researcher. E-mail: sknokee@gmail.com

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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