Pondering upon question leaks!
Tests (questions papers) of different public examinations such as Primary Somapony, JSC, SSC, HSC, university admission tests, and recruitment examinations have been leaked for the last few years. But the concerned authority denied the allegations and termed as false news although the government has confessed the leakage of tests in the ongoing SSC examinations– 2018. This year some government party politicians also raised their voice against the leak-out. When the SSC examination started, the issue got a new dimension. Citizens from all walks of life started to talk about this strongly with no fear and the administration also started to take action. The Minister for Education declared that if questions papers leak-out got proven, the examination would be re-taken and the government announced Tk. 5 lakh reward for helping the government to capture anyone who was involved in the question papers leaking. Probably this is a pretty move but the problem continues. We think if the authority wants, we will get an acceptable solution, questions papers leaks will stop surely as well.
When people from all over the country are talking about questions leaks, there silently happens another crime and it is more serious than questions papers leaks in my opinion. The moral base of the younger learners are getting weaker. What a conspiracy to make the people a morally-crippled nation. Sometimes examinees tell that answers of the MCQ parts are supplied in the examination hall in different centers by the invigilators. What a shame if it really happens! Some unscrupulous teachers, guardians, and influential people are involved in this misdeed. This type of news has got published in the media and made us more worried.
When I get the news of parents’ engagement in unfair means to make the best result for their children, I suffer a lot; I do not see any hope ahead; my eyes become blurred! In September 2017, the Secretary to the Secondary and Higher Education said that the MCQ part from the examinations would be dropped out. Though it was his personal opinion, many educationists or education experts supported his views. In the same speech, the Secretary told that he had found some complaints from different educational institutions in a different part of the country that answers of MCQs had been supplied in the exam hall. It is heard from students and guardians that this type of misdeed has been occurred for a long time. In February 2018, the problem named questions papers leaks and cheating in the examinations became a much-talked-about issue in the country; the Secretary briefed the media that they were finding a new method to take exams in an acceptable way which may include ‘Open Book Exam’. The ‘Open Book Exam’ may be a good method but we need to think how much it will work when our textbooks are so thin as examinees will find answers easily. However, setting higher-order questions in a good number might be a solution.
Let the authority explore a solution but my question is why do these problems occur? Don’t we need to find the cause behind it? There are some guardians who do not or cannot take care of their children’s education but they expect good results from them anyways. There is another type, these guardians spend huge money for their child, their children get admitted to big coaching centers, they appoint subject wise house tutors and their expectations are so high as hills but they have no proper care whether their children go to school, prepare lessons daily, find any wrong or not. When examinations start, some of them start to go to teachers or other people who can make their boys or girls pass easily in examination by any means. There is another version of guardians who feel more tensed than the examinees. These people think their boys and girls should have special preparation to go for war. Parents of the examinees become so worried as the examinees are influenced by it and get because of over seriousness sometimes they become failure to bag the expected results.
Nowadays, many people in our society always expect the highest results in the examinations. Expecting good results is not bad but these kinds of people never show interest in gathering proper knowledge; good result or higher grade is their target; and achieving good results by any means is their expectation. Students with comparatively bad results usually face cold behavior from their parents and other people; they do not evaluate what values and knowledge students achieved. In some cases, some schools negotiate with the managers of the examination centers to help their students so that they can break the records of the results of the previous years. For this purpose, teachers and SMC members make oral deals with other schools or exam centers. Isn’t it an ill-practice which is crippling down our nation?
National Education Policy 2010 demands an educated nation with sensible citizens, not some good results holders having less or no values in them. The boys and girls are also engaging themselves in this ill-culture; they consider examination as ‘war’ and doing anything, even though it is immoral, in winning it is valid. Although they know unfair means in the exam hall is bad, they want to adopt this sometimes to make a victory which they think would bring honor for them. However, some students and their guardians are honest and they work hard for education; they never search for the leaked questions. There is precedence that although the guardians had the leaked questions in hand, they did not disclose it to their children.
There is no short-cut way of education. Maybe we do not realize that students should learn something through hard work; through a lot of practices. All the students will achieve good results in every examination is not ideal thinking; again ding bad results in the examination does not mean the students are bad in every respect. But we are targeting the highest results ignoring real learning; the learning that makes life peaceful. We need to work together to engage the students in rigorous studies; we should prevent students from any short-cut method in learning. Making the best result without learning is valueless; it brings dis-honor for the ‘good results’ achievers!
To avoid the question leak, authority can deliver question paper in time only on exam days via email to examination centers as is suggested by some educationists, and then the secretary along with the attached officers and some policemen will print the questions. But how can they prevent if students and teachers adopt unfair means in exam rooms? Some of those who talk big about the question leak mentally support the leaking and cheating in the exam halls. An ideal teacher never supports unfair means; we need a lot of honest and motivated teachers to get rid of the menace. It is expected that the concerned education authority of the country will take the necessary steps against question leaks and unfair means in the examination hall. However, without personal and social awareness, the solution will remain far away.
(The writer is a student at Govt. Teachers’ Training College, Dhaka. email: email@example.com)