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Monday, February 12, 2018

Series of question leaks prove thorough inefficiency

SSC question paper for maths was leaked yesterday, like it was done in the case of Islamic Studies, English and Bangla tests. Ministers had accused "dishonest teachers" of taking photos of question papers and leaking them but yesterday the SSC Mathematic questions were leaked at a time when the scripts did not reach the exam centres.

Images of handwritten questions circulating social media sites and messenger groups made it clear that there were other actors involved. Yesterday's Secondary School Certificate Mathematics questions were found in a Facebook messenger group at 5:56am, hours before the questions reached the centres.  By 8:32am, solved problems in the "Kha" set question paper -- including MCQ and broad questions -- were circulating in the internet.

Although the law enforcers detained some people in connection with the recent question leaks, they could not track down the main players. The leaks continued and all questions of this year's SSC exams held so far had been leaked. Another examinee wishing not to be named said students matched their answers according to the questions, huddling together near the exam centre in the morning.

At least 30 people, including teachers and examinees' relatives, have been detained or arrested so far in connection with the leaks at different parts of the country. Why could this not have been done at the very beginning? We can track militants and their whereabouts with high accuracy. Is it too difficult to trace IP addresses to find out where the leaks originated? Surely Facebook or whatsapp or other online messaging services will help us to nab the culprits.

Last year a local paper did an exposure whereby they found out that third grade employees, who usually carried the papers inside the halls along with photocopy shops and members of the fraud syndicate are the ones who facilitate the question paper leaks. Now when all SIMs have been made biometric it should not be too difficult to track those who are uploading question papers into the internet -- everything in the web is traceable. We can even get help from facebook or have an arrangement with them that would spot and delete the links immediately--facebook has advance photo recognition software.

Nothing is being done--but why? Arresting the leaders of such syndicates alone will not help, nor will closing down facebook or coaching centres. There has to be continuous monitoring everytime major national exams are held to ensure that if you cheat you can get caught immediately. But this has to be on the priority list for the government -- it can combat cheating and wipe it out like militancy if it chooses to do so. The will has to exist.