… board meeting likely to happen tomorrow

Examination: There is a possibility of re-examination of the leaked Class XII English II paper with the Cabinet asking the Bhutan Council for School Education Assessment (BCSEA) board to review its decision yesterday afternoon.

The cabinet after its weekly meeting yesterday afternoon sent a letter to the BCSEA secretariat, the secretary of which is also the member secretary of its board.

In the letter, the Cabinet requested BCSEA board to review the recent decision on Class XII English II paper.

BCSEA secretary Kinga Dakpa said the board would meet at the earliest to review the earlier decision as desired by the Cabinet. The meeting could happen tomorrow.

“Re-examination of the paper is on the agenda of the board meeting among other options,” he said.

The chairman of the BCSEA board, Education Minister Mingbo Dukpa, said, “All possible options would be explored during the meeting.”

The Council had tabled four options for the board to deliberate on when five of the six members met to decide on January 4.

The options were besides doing nothing – validating English marks based on English I marks, identifying candidates who got the leaked question paper or re-examination of the paper.

BCSEA board on Sunday decided not to re-conduct the examination citing several reasons, including cost, logistics and hassle to students. It decided to validate English II marks based on what students scored in English I.

The option was the best one they had given the limited time factor, financial implications, and series of hassles and logistical problems of conducting the re-examination, officials said.

Redoing the examination would cost the government at least Nu 4M or a maximum of Nu 10.942M for printing question papers, transportation, and allowances to teachers deployed for conducting the examination and marking the paper, among others.

The decision further allowed all planned programmes to continue without problems.

But parents, students, parliamentarians, and teachers poured their disapprovals online.

While students said it was unfair to award the English I marks for the second paper especially because the second paper was easier last year, their parents thought the future of their children were at stake.

Villagers even raised the issue of not redoing the examination as unfair with the National Council members who visited the Kazhi in Wangduephodrang yesterday.

They complained that the culprit who leaked the paper be brought to justice.

Bardo-Trong MP Lekey Dorji tweeted, “Besides the talk of re-exams, I’m interested in how the paper leaked, who and how is the culprit made accountable.”

“Other alternatives could have been the allocation of Eng-II mark based on their mid-term, trial exams and tests and other assessments,” another person said.

Kinga Dakpa also said the Council was conducting an investigation in to who and how the paper was leaked, the culprit would be dealt with the relevant laws.

By Tshering Palden