Since my childhood days, I have been hearing my parents talk about question paper leak incidents in Assam. It is as if we have normalized it.
Almost every year the candidates who appear for the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Assam suffer after the announcement is made i.e., ‘Exam postponed due to question paper leak’.
But for how long shall they suffer from it? Apart from a few students who wish to pass the exam without making any effort, others study day and night to score good marks and make their parents feel proud. But due to these few felons, the hardworking students have to feel angst.
Since the commencement of the HSLC examination, paper leak incidents have been continuing which resulted in the cancelation of exams making the students tenser.
As the students went to sleep after studying all day long to appear for the exam for science subject, the state education minister announced that SEBA decided to cancel the exam after paper leaks were reported on social media.
The candidates, who didn’t have any idea regarding the cancellation of the exam, woke up fully prepared and reached the exam center on time only to discover that their preparation have gone in vain.
Is this what the future of our state should go through?
It is useless to put blame on the ruling party of our state as these incidents were reported in earlier times too when the opposition party was ruling.
Instead of putting blame on each other’s party, the government should focus on how to forbid such recurring occurrences.
The Chief Minister should re-evaluate if the present education minister is incompetent to face such kinds of circumstances.
It appears that the minister and the board refuse to accept the blame. Even after photos of the question paper were making rounds on social media platforms on the first two days of the exam.
When the question paper for the English subject was leaked on the first day of the HSLC exam, the SEBA Secretary and exam controller Narnaryan Nath claimed the media reports to be false.
For the candidates and their parents, it becomes a dilemma of whom to trust. On one side, the authorities refute media reports while on the other hand, the pictures of question papers are being circulated all over social media.
On the second day of the HSLC exam, when the mathematics question paper was leaked, CM Sarma had to intervene and cancel the exam. If we stress his intervention, it gives us a sense of incompetency from the education minister’s side as the CM had to step into his department.
The incompetency became more focused when Pijush Hazarika apologized for the inconvenience faced by the students.
After the last moment cancellation of the science exam, several students, and student unions staged protests against SEBA and the government for their ineptness to forbid such incidents from happening.
Pijush Hazarika alleged that a few evil people might be involved in these incidents to defame the government. But as it is happening for many years, should we think it is only to defame the government.
It is true that question papers get leaked after the start of the exam but how is it circulated before the completion of the exam remains a mystery.
Ranoj Pegu said, “Circulation of question papers after the commencement of the exam is not considered as a paper leak. That is why I refused to accept that there was any paper leak. However, yesterday when the SEBA received information about the paper leak, the decision to cancel the exam was made immediately. As it was leaked before the start of the exam, we have lodged a criminal case and proper investigation into the matter is underway.”
When parents enroll their children in schools affiliated with CBSE, they are criticized and blamed due to the government school students suffering.
After noticing these recurring incidents, parents feel a sense of relief for not enrolling their children in SEBA-affiliated schools.
Medical Director of Mission Smile Guwahati, Dr. Hiteswar Sarma tweeted, “I did well not to send my children to SEBA. They cannot conduct one exam smoothly. There is a shortage of qualified officers. It is better to convert all schools into CBSE. The government should dismiss incompetent officers and employees one by one. There is no point in suspending.”
Although parents prefer to send their children to CBSE schools, schools affiliated with SEBA must not be neglected as several children from middle-class background goes to study here.
In order to keep the trust of these parents, the government should come up with a tough stance against these culprits who are playing with the lives of several students.
Not the leaves, but the root of the felony tree should be cut deep and burnt down so that no new plant gets to grow from the seeds left behind by the tree.
Canceling and setting alternative dates for the examination is not the solution.
The government should dismiss the employees, who are in charge to keep vigilance on the question papers, and other officials.
Moreover, a thorough investigation should be launched to find the root cause.
Now, the most important question remains. The upcoming HSLC exams will be conducted smoothly or the candidates will go through another worry.