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While no question paper leak was reported on the first day of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams that begun yesterday, a different set of question paper according to a different syllabus surfaced at some centres across the country. Board officials say the error was reported from seven centres in total -- two centres in Chattogram, and one centre each in Cox’s Bazar, Madaripur, Satkhira, Munsiganj and Chandpur districts. - A home for your website

The SSC exams began on Saturday with Bangla First Paper. The seven exam centres where the error occurred were Dr Khastagir Government Girls’ High School and the Municipal Model High School centres in the Chattogram, Pekua Girls’ High School and Ukhiya Girls’ High School in Cox’s Bazar, Khaserhut Sayed Abul Hossain School and College in Madaripur, Champaful Acharya Praffull Chandra High Vidyapith of Kaliganj Upazila in Satkhira district, the AVJM Government Girls High School in Munshiganj and Rampur High School centre in Hajiganj of Chandpur. The education board was unable to say how many students had been affected by the error. The Bangladesh Inter-Education Board Coordination

Sub-Committee chairman, Md Ziaul Haque, told The Independent that it is the responsibility of both students and teachers to ensure that is the right set of question paper. They are gathering information and action will be taken against those responsible, he said.

However, they did not get any news of question paper leak. “If we get such reports, we will take strict measures immediately. We will of course take measures to ensure that the examinees are not harmed in any way,” he added.

Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Chittagong said due to errors of centre officials question paper sets prepared based on 2018 syllabus were given to the students instead of 2019.

Talking to The Independent, Chattogram Education Board Exam Controller Mahbub Hassan said, “This mistaken was made by the centre secretaries of the respective examination centers. They gave the students questions prepared based of syllabus of 2018 instead 2019 syllabus. We will take stern action against the responsible teachers.”

He asked the students not to be worried as the board authorities will take necessary measures over the incident. Three officials of Satkhira district were relieved of SSC exam duty for giving the wrong set of question paper, said official sources.

Our Chandpur Correspondent adds: A wrong set of question papers were given to students in the exam halls at Rampur High School centre in Hajiganj of Chandpur. When the matter was brought to the notice of the Centre Secretary Md Kabir Hossain, he informed the matter to Cumilla Board Controller and the UNO Hajiganj.

The board authorities said they would take necessary action in this regard. “The board authorities won’t punish the innocent examinees for this mistake,” said Boishakhi Barua, the UNO of Hajiganj, quoting the board officials.

The Hajiganj UNO told this correspondent that she has issued a show cause notice to the centre Secretary Kabir Hossain over this mistake in a public examination.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Dipu Moni said there is strict intelligence surveillance for the SSC and equivalent exams to prevent question paper leak.

She said the government will take stern action against any attempt to leak question papers.

The minister was talking to journalists after visiting an exam centre at Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Government Secondary School in Dhaka’s Ashkona area yesterday.

A total of 2,135,333 candidates are appearing for the exams this year —1,740,937 are regular and 391,054 private students. Of the total examinees, 1,070,441 are boys and 1,064,892 girls.

Students from 28,682 educational institutions are sitting for the exams at 3,497 centres across the country.

Compared to the exams held last year, the number of examinees has increased by 103,434 under 10 education boards this year, while the number of educational institutions has increased by 131 and the number of exam centres by 85.

The government has directed all coaching centres to remain closed till March 27 to prevent question paper leak.

To thwart question paper leak, all question papers are packed in aluminum foils using security tapes before they are sent to the exam centres.

Earlier, the ministry made it clear that if the foil is opened even once, no one can seal it again.

Besides, students will not be allowed to carry electronic devices, including cell phones, to the exam centres. The examinees will have to enter the centres 30 minutes before the start of the exam.