From now on, students taking public examinations will have to enter their respective exam halls half an hour before the tests begin.
Announcing the decision, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the new rules would be effective during the Junior School Certificate (JSC) and equivalent exams scheduled to start on November 1.
Question papers will be distributed only after all the candidates enter the exam hall, he said.
The decision, made at a meeting of the National Monitoring and Law Enforcement Committee over the JSC and Junior Dakhil Certificate (JDC) exams, was aimed at ensuring fair and peaceful environment during the exams and stopping the leak of questions through mobile phones, said officials of the ministry.
After the meeting, the education minister said measures would be taken against students who fail to enter the halls half an hour ahead of the beginning of the tests.
From the next public exams, the candidates who fail to reach the halls within the stipulated time will not be allowed to enter. However, this will not be applicable for the upcoming JSC examinations, he said, adding that they would publicise the issue three to six months before the beginning of any public exams.
Nahid mentioned that no teacher or individual concerned with the exams can carry mobile phones; only secretaries of exam centres would be permitted to carry an ordinary mobile phone for communicating with the exam authorities.
The minister urged all to keep a keen eye so that no incident of copying or question paper leak takes place during the exams. He also hoped that the JSC exams would be held in a peaceful environment.
The meeting discussed issues, including maintaining of law and order, printing, storage and distribution of question papers, preventing rumours of question paper leak from spreading and taking steps against those involved in leaking questions in social media such as Facebook, according to an official handout.
Mobile courts will be in operation to ensure the exams are held properly, it said, adding that stern actions would be taken against those involved in irregularities and question paper leak.
A control room to supervise overall activities of holding the exams will also be operational, it added.