… boxes with the scripts were ‘tampered intentionally’ says BCSEA

Dechen Dolkar 

Forty students of Trashitse HSS in Wamrong, Trashigang will resit their class XII board examinations beginning January 19 after officials at the evaluation camp found their answer scripts missing last week.

While preparing for evaluation of the scripts on January 13, Bhutan Council for School Examination and Assessment (BCSEA) officials when opening the consignment of Trashitse HSS found that four BCSEA examination envelopes containing answer scripts of English II, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics were missing.

BCSEA officials will conduct the examinations for the four papers on 19, 20, 21 and 22. Students were given the option to either write the exams from their own school or from the BCSEA office in Gelephu.

As of yesterday, three students confirmed to write the examinations from the BCSEA office, according to a BCSEA official at the evaluation camp in Gelephu.

According to a press release from the education and skill development ministry (MoESD), BCSEA immediately contacted the supervising examiner and school authority regarding the matter.

An internal investigation was conducted to assess if all necessary security protocols and standard operating procedures were adhered to with regard to the answer scripts being securely packed,stored and handed over to Bhutan Post for secure delivery to the BCSEA marking venue, the ministry stated.

“It was found that the secured boxes had been intentionally tampered with and specific examination envelopes for certain subjects had been removed.”

An emergency meeting was held on January 14 chaired by the Prime Minister and attended by the minister, senior officials of MoESD, BCSEA and the Principal of Trashitse HSS decided to conduct a thorough investigation by the police and to conduct a re-examination for the affected students.

The BCSEA filed a complaint with the police in Gelephu.

The re-examination will be conducted using standby question papers. “The assessment for the students appearing for the re-examination will also take into account their performance during the course of the school year so that they are fairly assessed,” the MoESD press release stated.

It stated that the students and parents have been contacted by the school authority. “All arrangements for re-examination have been made and full support is being extended to the affected students in terms of transportation, accommodation, meals and other logistics.”

The students will also be briefed and given some time to mentally prepare for the re-examination. “Counselling support is also being made available. The ministry deeply regrets this incident.”

The ministry also stated that a thorough investigation is underway by the police, BCSEA and the school authority. “All necessary measures will be undertaken to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future.”