The authorities have failed to prevent the leak of yet another SSC exam question paper, with the questions for Mathematics circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp at around 9 am on Saturday morning. The exam was set to begin an hour later.
This is the sixth question paper to have been leaked in this exam session, despite stringent measures taken by the authorities. Earlier, question papers of Bangla Papers I and II, English Papers I and II, and Islam and Moral Studies were also leaked prior to the respective exams.
Exam center assistant secretary detained in Gazipur
Gazipur police detained Amzad Hossain, assistant secretary of Mauna Bohumukhi High School in Sreepur Upazilla, while he was taking the SSC question paper out of the exam centre at 11am.
Sreepur police station Sub-Inspector Mahmudul Hassan said Amzad was held as he was dubbed to have acted suspiciously with the question paper.
Amzad has also been accused of providing solutions to the SSC questions to his students during the exam.
Police have informed the authorities concerned about the incident and Amzad has been suspended from duty effective immediately.
Sreepur Upazilla Secondary Education Officer Saiful Islam said the authorities are in the process of taking further legal action against Amzad.
Student's guardian detained in Rajshahi
Police detained the guardian of an SSC examinee from in front of Government P N High School exam centre in Rajshahi city, confiscating a leaked mathematics question paper from her possession, at 10am. A witness said the guardian was caught while conveying the solutions to the leaked questions over her cell phone.
When other guardians tried to join her to solve the leaked question in front of the exam centre, she left the area and went inside a nearby shop.
Later, the shopkeeper caught her and handed her over to police.
Rajshahi Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Ifte Khayer Alam confirmed the news and said: “We are investigating whether she is involved in the question paper leak or not. Further legal action will be taken if she is proven guilty.”
Two detained in Thakurgaon
Meanwhile, Thakurgaon police have detained school teacher Yunus Ali and Al Arafah Islami Bank official Shahidul Islam, on charges of leaking the SSC questions for the mathematics exam.
They were detained from in front of Jaborhat Hemchandra High School exam centre of Pirganj Upazila on Saturday morning. Their mobile phones have been confiscated, as they were used to circulate the leaked question papers.
The exam center’s Secretary Gopen Kumar Malakar said the detainees were exchanging SSC question papers and their solutions through their cell phones from in front of the exam centre.
The centre’s Executive Magistrate Sohag Chandra Saha said the authorities are in the process of taking legal action against the detainees.
Earlier on February 4, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid declared a Tk5 lakh bounty for any information which could lead to the capture of anyone involved in question paper leaks.
Exam center vandalized, UNO besieged in Kurigram
The SSC examinees at Jadurchar High School of Kurigram’s Rowmari Upazila have vandalized the exam center as they were not allowed to follow unfair means during the Mathematics exam on Saturday.
At that time, Rowmari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Dipankar Roy, along with other teachers, were besieged by the student inside the centre.
UNO Dipankar Roy said: "Students protested against the exam guards for being strict during the exam period and not allowing any unfair practices.”
“The frustrated examinees vandalized the exam center, teachers' motorcycles, and my official car. We were trapped by them,” the UNO added.
Later, the police arrived and brought the situation under control.
Jadurchar High School Principal and the center Secretary Moinal Haque said: "The UNO came to the centre to observe the whole exam period. The examinees started protesting and vandalizing the center in front of the UNO after the exam finished.”
The UNO said no examinee was expelled after the incident, but the authorities concerned will take action against the offenders under the Public Examinations (Offences) Act, 1980.
What educationists say
Serajul Islam Choudhury
We have to try to stop question leaks. Our intelligence agencies are capable of identifying militants and locating their dens, but how do they fail to catch question leakers? Our education system has turned into an exam oriented system. Do we really need this many board exams? And if the government decides to cancel or stop the ongoing exam, it is not going to help with finding a solution. Why do these questions get leaked while the English medium questions do not? This is not an isolated matter. Our education minister should accept that he has failed, and it’s completely his moral decision whether to resign or not.
Question leaks are unstoppable. The government is not giving any importance to addressing question leaks. In the history of Bangladesh, this government is successful compared to others as they have the capability to find dangerous militants, but they are not able to find question leakers. This situation is now beyond the education minister’s control. Education, quality, and credibility are no longer in demand in society, as good communication skills and connections can help to ensure employment.
Syed Manzoorul Islam
It has already created a market demand. I fear that question paper leaks will become normal. Since they made an open announcement on social media saying that they will leak questions and also talked to journalists, then why has law enforcement not arrested the perpetrators? This is a failure of the Education Ministry, administration, law enforcement, and even families. Families are not saying that they do not want their children to sit for an exam where questions were leaked. There is no guaranty that the situation will not rise again if exams are cancelled. Question leaks are going on, and the leakers are not afraid of anything.
What students say
Ashfiqur Rahman, Birshreshtha Munshi Abdur Rouf Public College
Students act differently once questions are leaked. They wait for questions to be leaked again and again. As a result, it has become difficult to judge the talent and quality of students, as many appear for exams with leaked question papers and get the same marks as talented individuals.
Musaddiqa Maliat Monisha, Viqarunnisa Noon School & College
The question leaks can only worsen the situation for the country and the nation. With the questions being leaked every year using the same strategies, brilliant students are getting more and more disappointed as they are competing against people who actually did not study at all. Talented students are being deprived as students with leaked questions are getting a similar mark, which often affects the admission tests as well.
Md. Sadat Ahmed Rafi, Ahmed Bawani Academy School & College
The quality of education falls because of question paper leaks. Students are becoming frustrated because of this. Not everyone has access to the leaked questions, and only a section of students are getting the questions and sometimes scoring more than students who have actually been spending the entire year preparing for the board exams. People cannot differentiate between the students who have studied and the students who have passed with flying colors because of leaked questions.
Md Raihanul Islam Akand, Zakir Mostafiz, Abdullah Al Dulal, and Ariful Islam contributed to this report.