The written part of this year’s Secondary School Certificate examinations, which witnessed the largest ever spate of question leaks in the history of country’s public exams, concludes today.
The government committee formed to investigate allegations of question leak in the exam is likely to submit its recommendations today or tomorrow, including one regarding if the exam would be cancelled or not.
Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, who is facing huge criticism over failure to check the question leak, said that the government was yet to get to the root of the malpractice.
‘We will sit in a meeting [of the investigation committee] on Sunday. We will try to submit recommendation on the day,’ madrassah and technical education secretary Md Alamgir told New Age on Saturday.
‘If we cannot complete our works on Sunday, we will submit our recommendation the next day,’ he said.
The committee, formed on February 4, is responsible for putting forward recommendations including whether the question paper leak rumours are true or not
and subsequently regarding cancellation of exams after reviewing all the allegations.
An investigation committee member said that they in two meetings on February 11 and 18 reviewed the allegations of question leaks
The question paper leaks started with the beginning of the public exam on February 1. It continued till February 22 when questions of Bangla 1st and 2nd papers, English 1st and 2nd papers, religion and moral studies, general maths, physics, chemistry, Bangladesh and global studies, biology and higher maths were reportedly leaked at least one hour before the starting of the exams.
Among the sixteen days of the written exam schedule, the question leaks were not reported on Saturday in geography and environment studies exams while question of accounting exam on February 20 was not also leaked.
Examinees and their guardians said that the questions, mostly the multiple choice questions were leaked and found posted in several Facebook and Whatsapp groups before the start of exams at 10:00am.
They also alleged that the initially the leaked questions were sold for Tk 500 to Tk 3000, but later the questions were found free in social media.
Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid on February 1 said that if the allegation of question leak of any paper was proved, the exam will be retaken.
Nahid and his ministry officials, however, kept rejecting the allegation.
Consequently, the education ministry and education boards came under fierce criticisms from educationists, examinees and guardians for failing to check question leaks and denying the allegation.
The government on February 4 formed a high-powered committee to monitor and investigate the allegations of question leaks and announced a bounty of Tk 5 lakh on any person involved in question leak, following the widespread allegations multiple choice question leaks in Bangla 1st and 2nd paper exams on February 1 and 3.
Besides, law enforcement agencies, so far arrested 153 people including at least ten teachers, and 53 cases were filed in this regard.
When government efforts failed to check the malpractice, on February 15, the High Court for the first time appointed two five-member committees, including a judicial committee, to find those involved in leaking papers.
The perpetrators, however, continued to leak question papers despite a series of other government steps like ban on use of cell phone around 200 metres of exam centre, closure of coaching centres during exams and students needing to take seats 30 minutes ahead of starting of exams and enhanced monitoring while opening the question packet.
Education minister on Friday said that his ministry was yet to get to the bottom of question leak.