The Opposition party said the leakage of the Class XII English II question paper was a case of national administration and governance failure. The Opposition said the most desirable and correct thing would be to re-conduct the exam.
MP Dorji Wangdi of Panbang constituency said that it is an unprecedented incidence. He said, “Such a leakage has not occurred, at least in our recent memory.”
He said that having known of the leakage, the government had failed to act promptly and decisively, and the indecision and undue delay has let the whole matter to become very complicated.
He said that Class XII examinations are the launching pad for the future of students. He added that the decision taken by the government will cause an irreparable damage to the career path and lives of numerous children. He said there will be no fairness and equity in the English marks, which forms a critical subject for qualification to higher studies and grant of various coveted in-country and ex-country scholarships. He said every point counts.
He said that the government’s citation to financial and logistical inconveniences to re-conduct the English II examination comes as a sheer disregard and insensitivity towards the students.
“While it is important to identify and mete out due punishment to the culprit of the leakage, it is more important that the government take full responsibility for this serious failure,” MP Dorji Wangdi said.
MP Zangley Dukpa of Khar-Yurung constituency said the knowledge on the paper leakage was known on December 13, five days before the schools closed down on December 18. He said there was four to five days to solve the problem, as students could have been asked to do a re-examination before the 11,000 plus students were dismissed from schools.
On reasons given for not redoing the exam, like the difficulty in gathering all the students, MP Zangley Dukpa said, “Only people who are not seriously concerned about the lives of 11,000 children take such decision,” he said.
The Opposition Leader, Dr Pema Jamtsho, said the government has taken a lot of time to decide and solve the problem. The OL said redoing the exam is the best option, in spite of the difficulties and hardship that the children would face. He said, “I think they (students) and their parents would still consider it worthwhile to redo the exam because this is a once in a lifetime exam that they have to do. This will determine where they would go from here.”
The OL said the implication on the career and future prospects of the children is beyond comprehension. He said the importance of Class XII examinations would be undermined if the English exam is not redone.
MP Khandu Wangchuk of Lamgong-Wangchang constituency said the most obvious solution would have been to re-conduct the examination right after leakage of the paper was known. He said that actions must be taken to ensure such things are never repeated.
A Class XII student of Nima Higher Secondary School, Ugyen Tshomo, said that redoing the examination would have been better and fair to the entire class XII students.
Karma Tenzin, a father of a class XII student, said redoing the examination is a better option for all the students. He says that English is one of the main subjects and it will also decide the career of the children. He said that the offenders should be punished so as to prevent such things from happening in the future.
Chimi Wangmo, a class XII student, said that it would have been fair if the examination was re-conducted. She said that the decision of checking the English paper II will be not fair now. She said the English mark is very important for the students.
During the 14th Meet-the-Press session, the Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay, said that it would be very difficult for students to redo the examination as they will have to collect their text books and even if they have text books, they may not have exercise books or it might be thrown away.
According to a press release from the Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment (BCSEA), the board deliberated the issue at a great length, exploring every possible option available to deal with the matter urgently. The press release states “The following options were discussed in great detail. The option A, to validity of English results based on English mark, option B would be to re-examination of English II paper, option C to identifying of candidates who had access to leaked question paper and option D not doing anything.”
Meanwhile, an official with BCSEA said they have conducted an investigation into the English II paper leakage. The preliminary investigation of text messages, tracing of phone number, and interviews with the individuals involved in receiving the leaked paper has led to the final source, the suspect, behind the paper leak.
The official said that the investigation took long as the BCSEA decided to first conduct a board meeting to decide on the matter. “BCSEA had no other alternatives but to consult with relevant agencies,” the official said.