Govt completes BCSEA paper leak investigation
The Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) investigation into the English paper II leak during the class 12 Bhutan Higher Secondary Examination Certificate (BHSEC) board examinations has found that more papers were leaked then initially assumed.
In addition to English II the other papers leaked were Economics, English I, Dzongkha I and Dzongkha II.
However, according to the RBP investigation it was only the English II paper that was shared beyond the main recipient of the leak, Dawa Dema, a Continuing Education (CE) student of Yoezerling Higher Secondary School, in Paro. Dawa Dema had shared the English II paper to seven other students.
The other four papers were used only by Dawa Dema while doing her exams according to the RBP report.
The RBP found that the source of the leak was Kinga Dorji, a Program Officer, at the Department of Curriculum Research and Development in Paro.
Kinga Dorji was hired by BCSEA to emboss the BHSEC (XII) Examination question papers for visually impaired students appearing for the same course from the Muenselling Institute in Khaling. He had leaked the papers when he got them for embossing.
Kinga had been under a strict undertaking with the Bhutan Council for School Examination and Assessment (BCSEA) to maintain confidentiality of the examination papers.
His responsibility at BCSEA in Thimphu was to emboss the examination question papers, make necessary changes in the proof reading of Braille question papers and to instruct the IT Assistant of Curriculum Division, Kinzang Peldon, to make necessary changes.
The RBP has three main evidences against Kinga, who continues to maintain his innocence on the issue.
In spite of strict rules prohibiting any one to take question papers out of the BCSEA office, the external 1000 GB hard drive owned by Kinga, on forensic examination, contained all the question papers of the five subjects that were leaked by him to Dawa Dema.
Dawa Dema, who was the source of the leaked English II question papers, vehemently stated that she was given the question papers of the five subjects of the BHSEC 2014 by Kinga. However, she managed to refer four of the question papers secretly but was compelled to share with a friend, the English II paper, which got leaked to some other students as well.
Chimmi Dema and Kinley Lham, who were working in the same office as Kinga stated that before the BHSEC 2014 Examinations, they saw the solved question paper for the English I BHSEC 2014 Examinations while delivering the notes from Kinga to Dawa Dema
Apart from the above Kinga in the beginning said that he did not have any contact with Dawa Dema. However, later he changed his statement by saying that he had some contact with Dawa Dema while ordering tea and snacks and he further stated that he had availed her help a few times for typing works. It was also found that Kinga had sent text messages to Dawa Dema many times.
Kinga told the investigation team that the HP thumb drive, which was supposedly used by him during embossing of the papers at the BCSEA office was lost during his workshop at Samdrupjongkhar. He stated that he had lost the said thumb drive during his workshop at Samdrupjongkhar in the month of December. But the forensic report showed that he had still used the same thumb drive on 5th March 2015.
Moreover, he had instructed the IT Assistant, Kinzang Peldon to format his computer while the investigation of the case by BCSEA was going on, when he was at Samdrupjongkhar.
How the leak came to light
A complaint of the leakage of BHSEC (XII) 2014 Examination English Paper II was first reported to Mr. Rinchen Karma, Senior Examiner stationed at Drugyel Higher Secondary School and the Vice Principle of the school by a student of the same school, after she received an SMS containing English II questions from one number unknown to her. Mr. Rinchen Karma further reported the matter to BCSEA in Thimphu.
On receiving the report, the BCSEA formed an investigation team consisting of three members and started an investigation. The BCSEA conducted a thorough inquiry and concluded that the BHSEC (XII) 2014 Examination English Paper II was first leaked by the defendant, who had given the said paper to Dawa Dema.
Thereafter the English II paper was leaked from Dawa Dema to other seven students before the conduct of the examination. One of the students, of Sonam Kuenphen Higher Secondary School, Chumey Bumthang accidently sent a part of the question paper thorough SMS to the student of Drugyel Higher Secondary School, Paro, who had first reported the case.
As part its administrative action, the BCSEA cancelled the marks of the paper of the students who had received either part or whole of the question paper and who had not reported the matter to anyone.
A teacher who had solved a part of the question paper on the request of a student was dealt by BCSEA in accordance with the Teacher’s Code of Conduct.
The first recipient of the leaked paper, Dawa Dem’s BHSEC 2014 examination was cancelled and she was also debarred from appearing in the examinations for a duration of 3 years.
However, the BCSEA investigation team at the time could not take any legal actions against Kinga because he was not a staff of BCSEA and the BCSEA team could not establish concrete evidence against the defendant to prove him liable beyond reasonable doubt, though the team was convinced that he was the one who had leaked the said paper.
Therefore, the case on the instructions of the government was handed over to the Royal Bhutan Police by the Secretary of Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs on 25th February 2015 with the directive to investigate and submit the findings.
A Royal Bhutan Police Investigation team comprising of three members, conducted investigation and found that more papers had been leaked to Dawa Dem by Kinga.
The OAG has registered a case against Kinga Dorji in the Paro Dzongkhag court. Kinga is charged with breach of trust and official misconduct. The case was registered on 9th September and preliminary hearings were done on 17th of September 2015.
The discovery of the English paper II leak caused considerable national outrage and controversy in January 2015. The BCSEA initially decided to validate the English II marks with the English I marks but this caused outrage from students and their family members. Finally based on a cabinet directive to review the decision, BCSEA decided to only punish those who received the questions and upheld the English II marks.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said he was glad the investigation was complete as promised by the government. He said the rule of law must be respected and the court would now handle the issue.
The PM said the government is working very hard to improve the quality of education and in doing so the credibility and integrity of the system cannot be compromised.
He said the government will ensure that the integrity and credibility of the system cannot be compromised.