After two state board exams were postponed because of question paper getting leaked, Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu on Friday said the entire examination system is being analysed and rectified.
A day after class 10th general science question paper was leaked, Assamese question paper was also leaked, said Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Twitter on Thursday, adding that the Assamese board exam was being postponed because of the leak.
He said, "It has been brought to my notice that the arrested accused centre in-charge of Luhit Khabalu HS School has, during interrogation, confessed of leaking Assamese paper as well. In view of this, I have advised SEBA to reschedule Assamese exam also."
It has been brought to my notice that the arrested accused centre incharge of Luhit Khabalu HS School has, during interrogation, confessed of leaking Assamese paper as https://t.co/9aI1Am9IiO view of this, I have advised SEBA to reschedule Assamese exam also.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) March 16, 2023
The SEBA stands for Secondary Education Board of Assam (SEBA) that conducts state board examinations.
Admitting that there are "lapses in the system", Education Minister Pegu said SEBA has to figure out where the problems are and take corrective measures.
"We have to rectify it together," Pegu told reporters here.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Assam Police is investigating the matter. Several arrests have been made so far. A school headteacher, who has also been apprehended, is suspected to be the mastermind.
Pegu said, "All the Modern Indian Language (MIL) subject papers, including English, which were to be held tomorrow, have been cancelled as a precautionary step, as one of the accused revealed about leaking the Assamese question paper. The new dates will be announced by SEBA today."
In Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong, and Dima Hasao districts, students study English (in lieu) instead of MIL Assamese. In addition to Assamese, the other MIL subjects are Bengali, Bodo, Hindi, Manipuri, Hmar, Nepali, Mizo, Khasi, Garo, Karbi, and Urdu.
The general science question paper of the Class 10 matriculation exam was leaked on Sunday night, and the exam scheduled on Monday was cancelled thereafter. According to a SEBA notification, the examination for the subject will now be held on March 30.
Meanwhile, reacting to the latest report of paper leak, Opposition Congress said the episode has brought the entire matric examination process under the scanner.
"Not only Assamese, every paper of HSLC exam seems to be under scanner. CM Hhimanta Biswa Sarma, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu must be ashamed of themselves, take responsibility for this fiasco and resign. Horrific how BJP Assam government can play with the lives of lakhs of students," said the Congress in a tweet.
Congress MP Pradyut Bordoloi also hit out at the Sarma-led BJP government, claiming that such problems are bound to happen under a "bulldozer regime".
"Shameful that the State Government has been unable to conduct an exam. Education and other crucial aspects of development are bound to suffer under a bulldozer regime," he tweeted.
"Is it truly a conspiracy to destroy the Assamese vernacular medium?" said Independent legislator Akhil Gogoi.
Protests were staged in front of the Luit Khabalu High School in Majuli, whose headteacher is suspected to be the mastermind in the case.
Locals gathered near the school since morning and raised slogans.
Sarma had on Thursday conceded in the assembly that the general science question paper leak was a "failure" of his government.
"I am sad to inform that one school's centre in-charge and three other teachers are the main culprits. The matric paper leak should not have happened. It shows our failure. I accept my failure," Sarma told the House.
(With PTI inputs)