The rise of the nefarious whistleblowing group QiPileaks has the country of Bangladesh both alarmed and happy.
Unlike other countries, the Bangladeshi government breathed a sigh of relief when they realised that they too had whistleblowers! However, instead of leaking important documents that show how corrupt individuals or agencies in leadership positions are, these leaks had to do with the question papers of classes two to four.
And why not? Kids need whistleblowers too! And no million-dollar technology from Singapore should try or is able to stop that.
“Why will only young adults benefit from leaked question papers? We shall ensure that no child is left behind,” stated a message posted on the Facebook page of QiPileaks, the notorious Pakistani question paper whistleblower.
“For years, I have had to study really hard to fully prepare for a career as a police officer. But now, I can purchase question papers before exams and concentrate on how to please my superiors instead and then purchase my promotions!” said Shaheen Shah, a 12-year-old boy who regularly peruses the Facebook group QipiLeaks where papers are allegedly leaked from.
“This is bad and good. It is bad because students are no longer motivated to learn. But it is good because it teaches children from an early age that if you have the money, you can get the job, the position and the title that you want, minus the hard work,” Muntahar, the Head of the Committee on Mass and Primary Education said.
“It is also nothing new. They were leaking papers back when I was sitting for my matriculation exams in 1965. It's how I passed the exam, LOL,” he said. “But Qipileaks may be a bigger problem if they start releasing other things like the educational backgrounds of our ministers who never academically specialised in their current fields,” he said.
The selling of question papers, apparently a phenomena that has been happening since before independence, has certainly grown in recent years.
“How do you think so many of our students get GPA 5? Better teachers and educational materials? Have you even read our question paper,” Sultana Khatun Mohila, a teacher at a primary school asked. She pointed out that the latest question paper developed had silly questions like “Why did the individuals kill?”
“These questions aren't just grammatically wrong. They force critical thinking because when you have no idea what a question asks, then you have to think. It's helpful if you want a future career in governance,” she added.
Explaining how, she explained that sometimes contractors who build roads need to make more money than a project can allow. The dilemma is how to use taxpayer money to pay them repeatedly for the same job without actually doing the job properly. “That's when we came up with the ingenuous idea of building roads only during the rainy season so that they break easily. Also, it's why the same road is dug up for water pipes, gas pipes and just because, not once, but multiple times, over the same week,” she said.
Top government officials, though, were not all too happy about the leaks. “These leaks are directly coming from Pakistan or the teachers. Or maybe Pakistani teachers,” an official said, requesting to not be named because he was actually Voldemort.
Teachers, however, vehemently refuted the allegations and blamed the printers. When queried, printers blamed the examiners. The examiners blamed the parents and students who promptly blamed Facebook.
Mark Zuckerberg could not be reached for comment, and thankfully too, because if he heard how easy land-grabbing was in Bangladesh, he would leave Hawaiians alone.
“This is a new breed of whistleblowers and they will be brought to book. We are forming a committee to look into this matter and we promise stern action against QiPileaks,” Muntahar said.
Osama Rahman is a Sub-editor at The Daily Star.