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23 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Stopping Question Paper Leaks

By IMRUL HOQUE
Stopping Question Paper Leaks

The incidences of question paper leaks have become unprecedented in recent days. This unwarranted situation is now jeopardising the education sector of Bangladesh in an epidemic form. Nowadays, almost all exams, if not all, are marred with the shame of question papers leaking beforehand. Primary school terminal exams, secondary and higher secondary certificate (SSC and HSC) exams, undergraduate admission tests and job recruitment tests are all accompanied by inevitable question paper leaks. Such adversity draws critical attention from different quarters of society that urges the authorities concerned to delve deeper into the problem.

All the exams of SSC held so far this year have been reportedly subject to question paper leaks. The steps taken by the government to stop the leaks have failed to a great extent. Even the offer of a substantial bounty of Tk 500,000 for information on perpetrators of the crime has fallen on deaf ears. Rather, the criminals are so notoriously confident that they boastfully declare for sale question papers with answers much before the exam, with absolute certainty. They have created a vast market, thanks to prevalent use of social networking websites. Even the requirement to reach the exam hall half an hour before an exam has proved to be ineffective, as question papers are allegedly on offer the night before or early in the morning of the exam day.

In fact, it has become extremely difficult to identify who does not devour the delicious taste of leaked questions. What makes both the question leakers and their consumers so desperate? The answer lies in our grossly faulty attitude _ the higher the GPA, the more brilliant the student. As a result, having a brilliant result in the public exams or getting the chance to attend an illustrious university is considered a pivotal component of social status and dignity. Enhancing such status at the cost of fraudulent means does not seem to be a moral turpitude. For this, the very parents who are supposed to enhance their children’s morality collaborate to get the leaked questions, or turn a blind eye to their progeny’s deceptive measures.

Competition is definitely beneficial, but intense competition can sometimes be detrimental. Those who are likely to fall short of that competition resort to illicit ways to maintain their position. Such outlook creates enormous demand for leaked question papers. As conventional economic theory suggests, demand creates its own supply.

Unless the demand side is stymied, the questions will continue to leak and the leaked question paper market will mushroom, taking advantage of students’ willingness to pay for unfair means. On the contrary, supply can also create demand. Therefore, the supply side also needs to be eradicated. But in this case, demand side is more influential than supply side. Even if the supply is blocked, boundless demand will again usher in excessive supply.

In fact, such a phenomenon is a symptom, not the disease. This degradation reflects the notion that our education system has unfortunately failed to instill moral lessons in our students. Our conscience has drastically diminished. As a result, the persons who are entrusted to fairly facilitate the process now betray with their responsibilities. For this, our collective psyche has become debilitated.

The recurrences of question paper leaks throw cold water on authentic brilliant students. They feel demotivated to study rigorously. What is the necessity of studying if studying nothing ensures glorious grades by virtue of question leaks? On the other hand, the fraudulent students may continue to commit mischievous deeds, if habituated. They may become a burden to our nation in the long run. Furthermore, question paper leaks turn the entire exam mechanism into a puppet show, poorly staged by the relevant authorities and crudely acted by deviated students. If this trend continues, our education system will miserably collapse, if it has already not done so.  

Therefore, it is high time to eradicate the nefarious nexus between question leakers and their collaborators. Loopholes existing in the question distribution system must be plugged in. The authorities concerned must maintain utmost secrecy over the whole process of setting questions, and printing and distributing the papers so that no untoward situation arises. Both perpetrators of this devastating offence and the consumers of leaked questions must be brought to book and handed down harsh punishment to curb the crime.  Additionally, our new generations must be equipped with weapons of morality and ethics.

 A Chinese proverb goes: “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” Conversely, if you want to destroy people forever, educate them with dubious means. In fact, our future citizens will be relieved from fear of massive destruction when we will be able to erase the word ‘question leak’ from our dictionary. Better late than never!

The writer is a sophomore at Department of Economics, University of Dhaka.

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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.

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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