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Govt bans mobile phones within 200 metres of SSC exam halls

  • Published at 06:04 pm February 12th, 2018
  • Last updated at 01:04 am February 13th, 2018
Govt bans mobile phones within 200 metres of SSC exam halls
In the latest move to stop question leaks in the ongoing Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent exams, the government has banned the use of mobile phones within 200 metres of exam centres around the country. The Ministry of Education sent a directive in this regard to the director general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), all divisional and deputy commissioners, and chairpersons of education boards on Sunday. The directive says those found carrying mobile phones near an SSC exam centre will be arrested, reported Somoy News. Examinees who fail to enter the hall 30 minutes before a test is scheduled to begin will not be allowed to take the test, it also said. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies have identified 300 mobile and landline phone numbers, some of which are VIP numbers, involved with question leaks, reported Bangla Tribune. The information was revealed at a meeting of the “Scrutiny Committee on Question Leak Allegation” at the Education Ministry on Sunday. Other than examinees and guardians, users of these numbers include students of medical colleges and engineering universities, said Md Alamgir, head of the committee and secretary at the Vocational and Madrasa Education Division under the ministry. The numbers have already been blocked, and police have launched drives to nab the perpetrators, Alamgir said. Fourteen people were arrested by the Detective Branch of police in Dhaka on Saturday for their connection with question leaks, while two more were arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Chittagong on Sunday. “Stern measures will be taken against the detained people,” Alamgir said. Furthermore, the students involved with the leak might be expelled from the academic institutions they are studying in, the secretary added. An official at the Ministry of Education said many important people were owners of some of the mobile phone numbers that had been blocked by police in connection with question leaks. Alamgir said the committee would assess a number of issues, such as whether the questions were actually leaked, how long before the exams they (question papers) were leaked, its impact, whether the exams will be cancelled, and how many people will be affected if the exams are cancelled. “We have found that the examinees get question papers 5-10 minutes before the tests. It should not impact them so much,” said the committee head. “In some cases, only 5,000-10,000 examinees got question papers quite in advance. But more than two million students are sitting the examinations. We will come up with our recommendations after evaluating all the issues. Then the authorities [the ministry] will make a decision,” he added. The second meeting of the committee will be held on February 18. On February 4, the Ministry of Education formed the 11-member panel amid question leak allegations. Sections of this article were first published on banglatribune.com