Government has also ordered closure of coaching centres from January 27 - a week before the exams set to begin from February 2
The Education Ministry has decided to send to every examination centre the question papers of the upcoming Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent tests in sealed packets of aluminium foil paper in order to prevent leakage.
“It will be easy to determine whether the packets have been opened [before they reached the exam centre] as these are special envelops,” Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni told reporters on Sunday, after announcing the move that is first of its kind.
She was briefing the media at the secretariat in Dhaka on their decisions regarding the exams, after a meeting of the National Monitoring and Law and Order Committee in the afternoon, reports UNB.
Till now, the question papers were sent to the exam centres in paper envelops wrapped in high quality tape.
The specially-made foil paper envelops will wrap the question papers in such a way that plain sight will be enough to determine whether any envelop has been opened, said the new education minister.
This year’s SSC and equivalent examinations will begin on February 2. The theory tests are scheduled to be held between February 2 and February 25.
The practical exam for Music is slated for February 26, while the other practical exams are scheduled to be held between February 27 and March 12.
Dipu Moni said that those who spread rumours over question paper leak or leak the question papers were already under the government’s surveillance and the Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) had been asked to take necessary steps in this regard.
She said that the Information Ministry and BTRC’s special cell would work on tackling the rumours, if there were any, which spread via social networking sites including Facebook.
Coaching centre shut down
The education minister on Sunday also said that coaching centres across the country must remain closed from January 27 to February 27 to facilitate the fair holding of the SSC exams.
The move is aimed at preventing any kind of question paper leak during the tests, she said.
Last year, the government in a similar move had shut down all coaching centres three days before the SSC exams amid widespread allegations of question paper leaks.
Like previous years, the examinees will have to enter the exam halls 30 minutes before the tests and no mobile phones will be allowed in the centres, Dipu Moni told Sunday’s press briefing at the Education Ministry office.
She said no one apart from the students and exam related officials and staff would be allowed to enter the centres.
During the exams, no one will be allowed to use mobile phones except the secretaries of the exam centres, said the minister.
She also added that the secretaries would be allowed to use only feature phones that do not have cameras and internet connections.
A total of 2,573,451 students will sit for the SSC and equivalent exams at 4,964 centres around the country this year.
Of them, 2,137,307 students will sit for the SSC tests under eight general education boards; 310,272 students for the Dakhil tests under the Madrasa Education Board; and 126,372 students will sit for the vocational exams under the Bangladesh Technical Education Board.