Now is the season of school final exams in Bangladesh and the government is trying hard to cope with the issue of exam questions leaking online.
Leaking exam questions have become a regular phenomenon in public examinations like Junior School Certificate (JSC), Senior School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC), medical college and university admission tests, and
state-owned bank recruitment exams over the last several years in Bangladesh.
Mostly using Facebook and WhatsApp, people sell exam questions ahead of the nationwide examinations. A few hours before the exam, the questions are often given away for free. The offenders in most of these cases have not been identified. These
leaks have cast a shadow over the quality of exams and the process of assessing students.
In January, the Education Minister hinted that Facebook would be shut down during the exams to prevent these leaks.
On February 11, 2018, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission instructed all internet service providers in Bangladesh to shut off mobile internet and reduce broadband speeds to 25 kbps from 8:00am-10:30am on exam days throughout the
remainder of February.
But on February 12, 2018 morning, within an hour from the start of the internet shutdown, the government backtracked and ordered ISPs to ensure uninterrupted internet service. It took some hours for the ISPs to implement the new order and things
were normal again. The authorities have instead imposed a mobile phone ban near the exam halls.
Netizens criticized the move, using sarcasm and satire to express their dissatisfaction and protest the rash and whimsical decision.
For now, with demand for exam questions increasing, the leaks continue. How the government will choose to combat the problem, short of an internet shutdown, remains to be seen.