Police reveals the names of individuals accused of leaking SEE question papers

2019-04-05

The Kathmandu Post


BINOD GHIMIRE, KATHMANDU : The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police on Thursday made public the names of six people, including two police personnel deployed to guard the question papers, who were allegedly involved in leaking the Secondary Education Examination question papers, forcing the authorities to cancel the national test.

Brahma Dev Sunrait and Deependra Kumar Mandal from Saptari, who were deployed at Kalyanpur Area Police Office in Siraha district, have been accused of unsealing the question paper parcels stored at the police office and sending them to their relatives for sale, consequently bringing the questions into the public domain through social media. Sunrait, with support from Mandal, broke the sealed parcel and took a photo before sending the image to his brother in Saptari, police said.

Though the question sets were leaked from the police post in Siraha, they were distributed among students by Bishnu Dev Yadav, Sunrait’s brother. The question papers meant for the students from Janata Secondary School in Baniya and Radu Secondary School in Kalyanpur were kept at the police station.

According to police officials, Bishnu Dev and his friends were involved in selling the question papers. The Social Studies test paper was leaked a day before the national exam slated for March 28, while the question paper for the Science subject was out in the early morning on the same day of examination on March 29. A preliminary investigation by police suggests the question papers were sold to the students for Rs1,000—Rs4,000 each.

After receiving copies of two question papers from his brother, Bishnu Dev sent them to Manoj Yadav, who then sent them to Rajesh Yadav and then Rajesh to Umesh Yadav before the papers made it to the examinees, who bought the question sets. 

“Selling the question papers appears to be the primary motive behind the leaks, but we don’t know how much they made out of it,” Uma Chaturbedi, spokesperson for the Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police, told the Post.  

In the wake of back-to-back question paper leaks, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology last week postponed the examination of five subjects in Province 2. The exams for the subjects other than Compulsory English, Nepali and Mathematics are scheduled to be held starting Friday.

Education experts say while the incident shows sheer lapses in security, it also exposes the flaws in the existing examination system. Senior academics with a deep understanding of the country’s education system say if Nepal had adopted an exam system that tested creativity, the problem would have never risen in the first place. 

“Our system promotes rote learning and those writing line-by-line from their textbooks get better grades,” said Binay Kusiyat, a professor at Tribhuvan University with experience in research. “The frequent incidents of question paper leaks will be hard to control unless we test creativity over rote learning.”

A total of 70,568 students are taking their grade 10 examinations at 262 centres in the eights districts of Province 2. The Central Examination Board is yet to come up with the exact figure on the loss incurred due to the cancellation of the examinations, but officials say it could easily be in the millions. 

“Roughly it could be around Rs7 million,” said an official at the board, requesting anonymity because the board had not made the exact calculation. But academics say while the incidents of question paper leak may have cost millions to the nation, there is no record of the suffering of the thousands of students and parents. 

Kusiyat, who is currently in Janakpur and has interacted with the examinees, said a rumour that the new question sets will be difficult and their answer sets will be examined tightly has increased stress among students who are already in trauma after their exams were postponed. “The level of stress the students are going through is a bigger loss than monetary waste caused by the question paper leaks,” he said.