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Question paper leak has become a phenomenon

Rayhan Ahmed Topader:

Question paper leaking is one of the most common and unwanted topic of nowadays. It has been used as a means of unfair way of being passed in a public examination or to get an admission in the universities or to get a job. Since after the independence, questions papers have been subjected to be leaked out. But it was a very rare case. It has become so frequent nowadays. If there is a public examination in the country, it is heard that the question paper is leaked out. Sometimes, the authority postpones the examination, sometimes the scheduled examination is held with the leaked question paper. More or less, the examinees are the worst sufferer who toil day and night for passing in the examination.

It is education which is the backbone of a nation. It is obvious that the process of examination is essential to identify those people who surpass any particular level of knowledge. But the problem arises when anyone tries to interrupt this system illegally. Leaking out question paper is the reason for which the whole education system can result in zero. As a result, it causes a huge loss for the society and the nation.The question paper leak has been very prominent nowadays. This phenomenon is occurring in the Primary School Certificate exam, the Junior School Certificate exam, the Secondary School Certificate exam, the Higher Secondary Certificate exam. The admission test in the public universities is also menaced by this crime. The government recruitment examinations papers are also leaked be some people for their personal interest. The question paper of the medical admission test has recently leaked.

This issue is causing a huge protest from the students demanding the cancellation of this exam. In this case, the government is trying to catch the criminals behind this act. But the government is also in a dilemma.THE issue of leakage of question papers has become a talking point in Bangladesh recently. I read somewhere that someone proposed using computers in examinations. In this article, I look at a mechanism to defend against question paper leak.The leak seems to take place during the printing stage of the question papers. Someone takes out at least one copy of the paper during printing. Hence, the idea is to find a solution that does not require printing of the papers as hard copies.A pool of questions or question bank should be prepared for a particular education board or for all education boards. This is a normal process to have a large number of possible questions for a particular subject. The questions should be categorised as difficult questions, semi-difficult questions, and easy questions. According to the question making policy, there should be multiple choice questions or true-false questions, problem solving or narrative questions, short questions, etc. Each of these types may have difficult, semi-difficult, and easy sets/sections of questions. When the question pool or the question bank is created, it should be stored in a central database.Once the database is created, either for a particular education board or for all boards, there should be a Web application or Web site front-end where there should be some options to choose the number of questions, types and categories of the questions, assigned marks for each question, estimated time of completion of answering the questions, etc.,for the question paper.

A randomise function can also be used to randomise or dynamically generate any question paper with the desired format/structure. This front-end can be supported by various types of programming and scripting languages.Instead of Web application, specific software can also be developed to generate the question paper electronically using the pool of questions stored in the database. After generation of the question set/paper, the approver or the examination committee will approve it, and that set of questions will be shown electronically in each exam hall by using multimedia projectors. If any exam hall has computer for each examinee, the question paper may appear in front of him/her.Hackers may try to obtain the question paper that is generated electronically. The first layer of defense should be the known security mechanisms. As a second layer of defense, the time between approval of a particular question set and exam start-time could be kept short so that any leak does not affect the exam. For instance, if approval is given for only one set of questions half an hour before the exam, taking several dynamically generated sets of questions, the risk is almost fully diminished. Even if the question paper is leaked out, it will not affect the procedure much. This is a worst case scenario, which can be prevented with available modern cyber security solutions. It is also possible to use standalone computers to supply the softcopy of the question paper to be displayed electronically.Saving a huge amount of paper would be environment friendly. The electrical devices will use electricity and produce heat, but the same applies for printing machines and the entire process of printing.

Once the exam is over, the question paper could be posted on the website of the ministry of education or of the education boards. In that way, people can download the archived softcopy papers and printing would be based on personal choice.If there is anything left in Bangladesh that is still valued by others outside Bangladesh, it is the quality of education up to the Bachelor’s degree level. I deeply feel for the genuine junior talents in Bangladesh. Leaked question papers will do no good to Bangladesh. Top-category students from Bangladesh rarely come to Malaysia, even for higher studies. Interestingly, even a mediocre student from Bangladesh does very well compared to the students from other countries. This is based on my experiences in South Korea and in Malaysia. The positive image of Bangladeshi education system (up to undergraduate level) is under severe threat today. Personal gains and selfish interests have severely jeopardised it. Leaking of question papers must be stopped to genuinely evaluate the students who will represent Bangladesh in the coming days (even if they do not stay in Bangladesh in the long run).The solution proposed in this article is very much doable. There are very qualified software and Web site development companies in Bangladesh and very good programmers who could write the codes for it. Network solution providers could help build the network infrastructure. Economists could try to estimate the installation costs and longer benefits. Educationists could see the positive points of it for the exam systems. While various facets of the proposal remain for further scrutiny by the professionals and experts associated with question preparation.

A good number of people are engaged in leaking question papers in Bangladesh.Rather, there has been a syndicate which is very much active in leaking question papers before the exams. Undoubtedly, they have a strong connection with the government officials and the politicians by which they are committing such a crime. This syndicate remains unreachable. The tiny criminals are found. The system which is responsible is still doing their act before the exam.There is a lack of confidentiality among the organizations and the Bangladesh Government Press. Moreover, the people who have the administrative power are misusing their power for personal interest.The coaching centres of SSC, JSC, PSC, HSC, university and medical admission coaching centres are accelerating the crime of questions paper leak. The people of some coaching centres are trying to misguide the students unfairly. For that reason, they allure the government officials through the financial and political connections. As a result, they are given the questions pares set before the exams. Moreover, they sell those question papers to their students at a high price.To leak the question paper is considered as a crime. It is the result of moral degradation.The modern society has been filled with such unfair morals that our young generation is failing to recognize the truth. They cannot be able to differentiate between the right and wrong. Our family teaching and the social ethics are not enough to prevent our children from going astray. They are learning corrupted and unfair ways in the student life.

Our trusted educational institutions are teaching them how to gain good marks instead of how to gain good knowledge and education.The impacts of the leak of question papers us a hindrance for valuing merit. It helps to get a certificate, it assists the inefficient person and deprives the eligible and talented people to get their rightful place in the government recruitment exams. Consequently, the wrong people are given the wrong place. So, it is very simple for them to take the wrong decisions. In this way, our system is responsible for corruption.The phenomenon of leaking question paper is destroying the students’ creativity. When they find the shortcut way of success, they cannot resist themselves to adopt this way. In this way, the talents of our children are misused and their intelligence is destroyed. The nation is deprived of having a talented and truly educated manpower.The safety measures and the confidentiality should be maintained Properly.Moreover, the family has to breed moral value of honesty among the children in the student life so that they cannot take part in any crime.In fine, we can say that this crime of leaking question paper is happening most often nowadays.Most of the students are tired of listening the news of question paper leak as the scheduled exam date has to be postponed due to these problems. This unwanted lose of time is causing the session jam in the long run. Though the government is trying heart and soul to minimize the session jam,question leaking is resulting this as a byproduct. Consequently, the students’ valuable time has to be lost. But it is obvious that all the students are not responsible for this crime. Unfortunately, the innocent students and job seekers have to bear the loss. However, this unrighteous act should be stopped immediately.

Writer and Columnist