SEE exams in Province 2 suspendedThe government has decided to suspend tests of the remaining subjects under the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) examination in Province 2 in the wake of back-to-back question paper leaks.
The government has decided to suspend tests of the remaining subjects under the Secondary Education Examination (SEE) examination in Province 2 in the wake of back-to-back question paper leaks.
The Ministry of Education directed the Office of the Controller of Examination (OCE) to suspend the exams until further notice amid suspicion that papers of other subjects could have been leaked. The OCE board cancelled the test of social studies slated for Friday after confirming that the leaked question paper matched with the original.
It had to cancel the examination for science on Thursday after the questions were leaked a day before the test. The back-to-back leaks of question papers, affecting thousands of students in eight districts, have raised questions over the security and management competency of the Central Examination Board. “The routine for the rest of the examinations will be announced within a few days,” said Minister for Education Giri Raj Mani Pokharel.
The examination in other provinces will continue as per the schedule. The examination for Health and Population was slated for Saturday. With the new decision, except for compulsory English, Nepali and Mathematics, the students from eight districts in the province will take their examinations next month.
A meeting of the security committee, tasked with maintaining the security during the examination, on Friday afternoon directed the examination management committee in all 77 districts to ensure confidentiality of the question papers. Based on the reports, the committee met again in the evening.
“Though we received reports saying that the questions sheets were intact in the sealed envelopes across the nation, rumours of further leaks prompted us to suspend all the examinations,” Vishnu Prasad Adhikari, examination controller, told the Post.
The question papers for both the subjects were circulated through social media from Saptari district. The examination for the science subject will be held on April 5 and social studies the next day. As many as 70,565 examinees are taking the tenth grade national examinations from 262 centres in the eight districts from the province. The examination controller’s office has fixed 1,969 examination centres across the nation and sealed question sets are kept in the police beats nearby respective centres. The sealed packets are opened just a few minutes before the examinations in the presence of superintendents and other police officials. Experts say this leaking of question papers is a case of sheer failure on the management’s part—from both the controller’s office and the security agencies.
“This is also the result of giving unnecessary priority to the SEE exam. We have failed to give a message that the exam is like just any other exam,” said Bidhya Nath Koirala, a professor who has a deep understanding of the education system of the country. He says that due to the unnecessary pressure students feel because of the exams, they tend to resort to any means to get higher grades, which results in such incidents.
Koirala says that the concerned authority must investigate into the matter and try to find a long-term solution for such problems. Though there have been reports of question papers being leaked in the past, this is the first time the question sets of two subjects were leaked back-to-back.
There are separate sets of question papers of the compulsory subjects in each province. The National Security Committee, formed to manage the SEE examination, therefore, decided to check the sealed packets of the question papers meant for all 1,969 centres in the presence of the chief district officer or in the presence of the officials designated by the CDO. The inquiry found that the rest of the questions papers are safe and sealed. The committee has also decided to deploy the Central Investigation Bureau of the Nepal Police to investigate how the question sets were leaked and who is responsible for it.
“Currently we are not in a position to say who is behind this crime,” Vishnu Prasad Adhikari, the examination controller told the Post.
The Province 2 government, however, has taken the incident as an opportunity to attack the federal government. Its senior ministers have been blaming the centre for conspiring against federalism by tarnishing the image of the provincial governments. “I can tell you this is a well-orchestrated conspiracy by the federal government to tarnish our image. We will present the fact before the public,” Nawal Kishor Sah, Minister for Social Development, at the Province 2 told the Post over the phone. He says had the provincial government been authorised to conduct the exam things would have been different. However, Koirala sees Sah’s claim as just an attempt to politicise the case. He says that though this is a result of the lapses on the part of federal government, there is no truth in saying that it is a conspiracy.
“I have seen the exams of lower grades managed by local and Province 2 governments. They had completely failed to maintain the norms of the examination,” he told the Post. Meanwhile, the SEE examinees from different districts in the province resorted to vandalism and sloganeering against the decision to cancel two examinations in as many days.