Checking SSC Question Leaks: Nothing seems to be working
Yesterday was no exception.
The MCQs of Physics got leaked out as well. And like on the previous eight SSC exam mornings since February 1, the leaked questions were circulated on social media hours before the test began.
Images of "Ga" set of the multiple choice questions along with answers were available in Facebook groups by 9:00am yesterday.
So, nothing seems to be effective. Cases have been filed and arrests made and the media keeps on reporting.
The leak continues.
After yesterday's exam, this correspondent found that the MCQs obtained free in a Facebook group were identical with the original questions.
In Chittagong, 24 science group students of Ideal School and College in Patia were expelled from the exam. Of them, seven had screenshots of the "Ga" set on their mobile phones and tablet computers while two others had answers written on their notebooks.
The rest 15 were going through the questions on the devices of the seven, according to Habibur Rahman, additional deputy commissioner (education and ICT) of the district.
A total of 56 examinees -- 30 from commerce group and 26 from science -- and a teacher boarded a bus from Patia to the exam centre at Bangladesh Mahila Samity High School, Dampara.
Morad Hossain, assistant magistrate of Chittagong, intercepted the bus around 9:00am at the school gate.
He caught the students with the images of the MCQ set on their devices but allowed them to take the exam to verify the questions found with them.
On information, Chittagong Board officials rushed to the centre and expelled the students after the exams as the questions the students got matched with that distributed at the exam halls, said Morad.
Quizzed, the students told board officials that they joined a Facebook group in exchange for money and collected the MCQs, said Prof Shawkat Alam, secretary of the board.
"We have expelled 24 students. Of them, nine have been detained. Legal action will be taken against them who had the devices and notebooks with answers,” he said, adding 32 other students were not found complicit.
A case will be filed in this connection and action will be taken against the teacher who was on the bus, he added.
In the capital, the Rapid Action Battalion detained an undergraduate student in Agargaon area early yesterday. He allegedly took money from people through mobile banking in exchange for SSC questions, according to a Rab press release.
This is the largest ever reported spate of SSC question paper leak that has drawn fierce criticisms and prompted a Jatiya Party lawmaker to demand in parliament the immediate resignation of Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid.
Yesterday, talking to reporters at the secretariat, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said, "The masterminds behind the leaking of question papers will soon be arrested. The people who have been arrested are somehow involved in the process of the leak."
There have been widespread allegations of leaking of question papers of all public exams like JSC, SSC and HSC, medical college and university admission tests, and state-owned banks' recruitment exams over the last several years. In most of the cases, leaked questions were circulated on Facebook pages.
The education ministry initially brushed those allegations aside. It, however, took some measures later on to stop the leak, but the menace continued. The Anti-Corruption Commission in a report recently pointed finger at officers of the education board, BG Press and other government officials for question paper leaks.
And now it appears the leakers of SSC exam questions have caught the government off guard and whatever it is doing to plug the leaks, is looking half baked.
'RESIGNATION NO SOLUTION'
Eminent educationist Prof Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, however, said the resignation of the education minister will not solve the problem.
"The resignation of education minister is not the solution," he told reporters after a programme marking the World Radio Day in Sylhet.
Prof Iqbal, who staged a sit-in protesting the leaks of HSC questions in 2014, also said there will be no meaning of education in the country if the question leak continues.
He said the administration earlier had not admitted that the question papers were leaked. Now they are admitting it but not taking any effective measures.
“It's time to act on the issue and the culprits behind it should be brought to justice," he said, adding that the government should not take steps like clamping down on the use of internet.
[Our Chittagong and Sylhet correspondents contributed to this report]