Cheating in public examinations was so rampant once that any hope of salvaging the situation looked bleak. Mercifully, the ill practice has more or less been rooted out from the two most important public examinations at the secondary and higher secondary levels. Question leaks, however, followed to scandalise the examinations. It so happened that a section of parents of candidates also took active part in procuring leaked question papers ahead of wards' exams. Even those parents who were not so extra-active did not mind parting with hefty amount of money their sons and daughters demanded for procurement of leaked question papers.
In both cases, parents and guardians became a willing party to the criminal act. This is quite an indication of the steep slide in moral values in this country. Instead of rebuking and disciplining their wards, parents stooped so low that they lost the minimum sense of projecting an image dwarfed and disrespectful before their young ones. The authorities may have put in place a failsafe system through which question papers hardly stand a chance of leaking now. But few examinees and their parents are likely to turn down the offer of leaked question papers if the opportunity somehow comes their way.
The genie of question leak casts a long shadow because of involvement in the act of people in high and crucial positions. Only a few days ago 12 people including seven doctors were arrested for their involvement in the leak of question papers for admission test of medical colleges for over a decade. Before this, a teacher of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) was sacked for his part in a similar misdeed. What more proof is needed to conclude that the rot has set at the most vital organ of society! There was yet another scandal recently over question leaks of Bangladesh Biman's recruitment test.
However, question leak is not the last such evil means resorted to by the intending beneficiaries and their corrupt facilitators. An evil nexus provides proxy candidates to sit for recruitment tests for the genuine but below standard candidates in exchange for fabulous amount of money. According to a report carried in a contemporary, as many as 14 such candidates who faced viva voce, the third stage of eligibility test on completion of the MCQ and written test were arrested when the EC filed cases against them. It is because they came successful out of the first two stages and yet could not answer a single question in the viva voce test. Arranged by the Election Commission for recruitment of employees out of 131,000 candidates who applied for178 positions of office assistants, the third stage exposed the proxy candidacy when the candidates were challenged on suspicion. They duly admitted their crime.
What happened is that the genuine candidates did not at all sit for the recruitment test. Under an agreement, proxy candidates appeared at the previous two tests in exchange for Tk 1,200,000 to Tk1,400,000 on behalf of each of those 14 candidates. Some of them paid half of the amount and a few even made full payment of 1,200,000.
Now the question is, how could the proxy candidates appear at the MCQ and written tests? They were supposed not to avoid detection because photos on the admit card should tell the difference. They got caught because they had to appear before the viva board individually where impersonation is impossible as they have to produce their photos alongside other documents. They must as well be brought to book.
This is, however, not an isolated incident. It happened in recruitment tests of banks and other government organisations. One or two isolated cases were reported from halls of public examinations when the proxy candidates were detected and handed over to the police. But this is a problem ailing the different recruitment tests and there is a chance of some of these frauds getting through the net. When they do, what they are supposed to target is quite understandable. Their primary objective is to realise the money they had to part with at the time of recruitment tests and these unqualified elements soon join the vicious circle responsible for not moving files unless their hands are greased enough. This is exactly how office environment gets vitiated.
There are cheating and fraudulence galore in society today. After Shahed Karim's Regent Hospital scam, there emerged the e-commerce scandals involving Evaly, E-orange and Alesha Mart. Before these, there was a spree of multilevel marketing (MLM) duplicity responsible for defrauding small savers. Indeed, the swindlers are always appearing with new tricks. This social rot needs to be dealt with an iron hand. Honest people do not want to see such elements roaming freely and bringing shame to the country.