Examination: Class XII students, their parents and observers have taken to the social media to pour out their disappointment on the decision to not re-conduct the leaked English II paper.

Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment (BCSEA) board decided not to redo the leaked class XII’s English paper II at an emergency meeting on January 4 afternoon.Instead, the board decided that students be awarded the marks they scored in English paper I for the second paper as well.

But both students and parents said it was “sad news” and unfair for students.

A class XII student from Samtse posted, “ Really, really unfair to me. I want our English II marks to be entered. I don’t want to bear the punishment of others’ after all it decides the path of our future. We want justice.”

The disappointment also comes from the feeling that the second paper was easier than the first, according to students.

A corporate employee who attended the examination as a continued education candidate of ILCS, Yeshi Penden said this put a big question over his results.

“Compared to the first paper, the second one was much easier,” he said. Now he remains pessimistic of qualifying anywhere.

An English teacher of a private school said that her students didn’t have a strong command of English language so they tried to do well in the second paper. “I’m concerned over the results of my school,” the teacher said.

The board’s decision has rendered wasted a whole year’s hard work of both students and teachers. Others said it was unfair to make the students suffer because the Council failed in conducting the examination fairly.

“I feel sorry for those students who slogged the whole year and wrote the paper with honesty, and did not get the leaked paper,” another parent said.

Others parents Kuensel spoke to say they are concerned and confused.

“If my son does not qualify for any of the colleges or loses scholarship opportunities because of the English mark, then will the board take responsibility,” a parent said.

However, some principals said that given the circumstances, what the board came up with was the best option.

A principal from Trashigang said this was a smart move by the Council board.

“Even if we redo the examination, most students would’ve forgotten their lessons and it could mean a poorer result,” the principal said.

BCSEA officials however insisted that there is not much difference between the two papers. Fifty percent of the skills and knowledge tested in the second paper are covered in the first paper, BCSEA argued. If it were a different subject, the Council would have no other option but to redo the examination.

“Because of the strong positive correlation between the students’ performance in the two papers, the board decided to give English I marks for the second paper too,” the Council secretary Kinga Dakpa, said.

Not all students had access to the leaked question paper, they said.

This decision was taken given the limited time factor, financial implications, and series of hassles and logistical problems of re-doing the examination.

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

The Council is investigating how the paper was leaked and would also review their procedures and rules.

More than 11,000 students appeared the board examination last year.

Meanwhile, others including parliament members also shared similar experience of a leaked Dzongkha question paper not long ago.

National Council member from Gasa Sangay Khandu tweeted that the government re-conducted the examination for the paper.

Students were also given daily allowance too.

“When officials failed students were given a fair chance,” he tweeted.

By Tshering Palden