A total of 153 people have been arrested so far in 52 cases for their alleged role in the question leak during the Secondary School Certificate exams, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said yesterday.
“We are yet to dig deep into the root cause of the question leak. That is not in our hand. Law enforcement agencies will do that and they are with us. We are working together to stop the leak,” he said.
Nahid was speaking at the award ceremony of the ninth National Debate Competition in the city's Film Development Corporation (FDC) auditorium.
A total of 17,600 students from 880 non-government schools took part in this year's debate competition, according to a press release.
The minister said preventing the question leak became a bigger challenge for his ministry.
He sought support from teachers, guardians, students and educationists to prevent the spate of question leak.
All 12 question papers of this year's SSC exams had been leaked through social media and messenger apps hours before the exams began. The last exam (written part) of the humanities group will be held today.
The SSC and its equivalent exams began across the country on February 1.
This is the largest-ever reported SSC question paper leak that has drawn fierce criticisms from educationists and guardians. The government took several measures, including announcing Tk 5 lakh bounty to help the authorities nab those involved in the leak. But all the efforts have gone in vain.
Arrests were made almost regularly and cases were filed, but the real culprits behind the leaks remained at large.
Hinting at bringing major changes in the SSC and HSC exams next year, Nahid said the ministry would come up with some new strategies upon consultation with educationists.
“The HSC exams will begin after about a month. We are taking strict measures so that the questions cannot be leaked out,” he said.
The minister said the government would not go for bringing major changes within the short period of time. “We will try to bring some major changes in the question methods of SSC and HSC exams next year. But that will be done upon consultation with educationists and others concerned.”
Describing technology as a big asset, the minister said it has some disadvantages too.
He called upon the guardians to focus more on bringing up their children with moral values rather than only with good results.
Education Secretary Sohorab Hossain said the government was going to enact a law to ban coaching centres and private tuitions.
According to the secretary, around 150,000 people are involved in the process of setting, printing and distributing questions of SSC and HSC exams. He said everything get ruined if one of them gets involved in the leak.
Shafiqul Islam, director of Brac Education Programme, and Hasan Ahmed Chowdhury Kiron, chairman of Debate for Democracy, also spoke.
A section of coaching centres has been blamed for the question leak. The government had shut down all types of coaching centres seven days before the SSC exams started.