English II: The opposition party says that the government’s decision to not reconduct Class XII English II examination is the case of national administration and governance failure.

“Having known about the leakage, the government has failed to act promptly and decisively. The most desirable and correct thing would have been to re-conduct the exam,” said Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s Dorji Wangdi. “But the indecision and undue delay has left the whole matter to become very complicated.”

According to the party’s communiqué, Class XII examination bears a huge implication on the career and lives of children as it is the real launching pad for their future. “The decision taken by the government will cause irreparable damage to the career and lives of numerous children as it will still not ensure any fairness and equity in English mark, which forms a critical subject for qualification to higher studies and grant of various coveted in-country and ex-country scholarships.”

Further, it says that the government’s stand that it would involve financial and logistic inconveniences to re-conduct the examinations reflects sheer disregard and insensitivity to the career and life of thousands of children. “While it is important to identify and mete out due punishment to the culprit who leaked the paper, it is more important that the government take full responsibility for this serious failure.”

Zangley Dukpa, MP from Khar-Yurung, said that if the government is really concerned about the problem, it will not be difficult to find solutions. “Had the government taken immediate actions upon knowing that there was leakage of English II paper, problems that we are now facing could have been solved.”

The authorities knew of the leakage of the English II paper on December 13 and had five days until schools closed on December 18 to take decisive action, said Zangley Dukpa. “What this indecisiveness on the part of the authorities concerned tells us is that they are not at all concerned. We are playing with the lives of more than 11,000 students.”

Thirty-seven days after the authorities knew of the leakage of English II paper, there are arguments from different quarters that if English II exam is conducted again it might delay result declaration and pose problem of admission in the colleges. But this argument, said Dorji Wangdi, has no basis. “Most of the colleges, both inside and outside the country open only in July or August. Therefore, the most correct thing would be to redo the exam.”

Khandu Wangchuk, MP from Lamgong-Wangchang, said it is not true that students might not make it to the exam centres if English II exam is conducted again. “All the students are waiting in confusion. Because of the pain that this incident has caused and will continue to cause to thousands of students, we have to ensure that such things do not occur in the future.”

Opposition Leader (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho said that redoing the exam is probably the least of all the ills. “It is still the best option. In spite of cost and difficulties and hardships, children and parents will still consider it worthwhile to do the exam again…The implication on their [students’] career, prospects and future is beyond comprehension.”

By Jigme Wangchuk