a year ago

Punishing those behind question-paper leak  

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At a time when there was a general perception that the epidemic of question leaks has been tackled to the relief of the nation, news from Dinajpur Education Board has been quite unsettling. The secretary of a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination centre under Bhurungamari Upazila and his accomplices intriguingly leaked question papers of six subjects in exchange for money. He is a headmaster of a girls' high school and his partners in the crime are also teachers and office staff of the same school. When the person in charge of security of question papers---in this case none other than the headmaster --- feels no shame for distributing question papers among students for money, the extent of moral degradation of teachers defies imagination. What is more, each of the candidates had to ask their guardians to give an amount between Tk 20,000 and Tk 30,000 for the leaked question papers. All were a party to the crime. 

The crime could go unnoticed had a candidate not informed his/her tutor, a college teacher who informed local journalists and the latter brought it to the notice of the law enforcement agency. The main culprit acted like a professional criminal because he somehow secretly managed to get hold of one extra loose question of the six subjects and did not have to open the main bundles. So before going to collect his consignments of question papers he had conspired to do what he did. How can the responsibility of teaching young learners be safe at the hands of such elements ---villains incarnate in the garb of teachers. Unless the quality of people is up to the standard in every profession, social rot of this order cannot be stemmed. A collusion of teachers, guardians and office staff has vitiated the process of educating the impressionable minds.  

There is certainly an economic cost and other hassles. The Dinajpur Board had to postpone the examinations of those leaked papers and announce fresh dates. Also new sets of question papers have to be prepared and printed. This will cost the board an extra amount of Tk 10 million. This amount should be realised from the person and his accomplices involved in question paper leak. They have all been arrested and put behind bars. Let the court decide what punishment they will be meted out, but the demand for realising the extra expenditure on printing question papers anew should be given a patient hearing. This will send a message to would-be culprits of this kind.  

Before it is too late, let the education system be remodelled where can be elevated to a much higher level in terms of respect and emolument. The administrative hub of secondary and higher secondary education has by now earned enough infamy for financial crimes. This certainly has an influence on the teaching profession, particularly the headmasters and principals who are compelled to be a party to underhand dealings. When this happens, its psychological effects result in compromises and, in extreme cases, search for unearned income whenever there is an opportunity as seen in the incident of Bhurungamari question leak. 

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