The primary teachers’ eligibility test (TET) held on Sunday was mired in controversy again. An hour before the exam got underway, solved question papers were circulated on WhatsApp. Many students who sat for the exam confirmed it.
More than 22 lakh candidates appeared for the TET this time. Students who clear the exam have a definite chance of getting jobs in government-run primary schools across the state.
On August 28, the mysterious disappearance of a bundle of TET question papers during transit from Salt Lake to Hooghly had forced the school education ministry to cancel the test scheduled for August 30. It was rescheduled twice before being held on Sunday.
While the two-and-a half-hour test started at 2pm, solved question papers were being circulated on WhatsApp since 1pm.
“For the last couple of days, TET questions were being posted on Facebook and WhatsApp. I was amazed when I saw solved question papers on WhatsApp even before the exam started. The colour of the questions — printed with blue ink — was also there on WhatsApp,” said Sibaji Tarafdar, who appeared for the exam.
But the state is not ready to call it a case of question paper leak. While education minister Partha Chatterjee refrained from making a comment, Manik Bhattacharya, the chairman of West Bengal Primary Education Board (WBPEB), which conducted the exam, said, “No question was leaked. It was a picture sent by a person and received by another. Both must be arrested. It’s a crime. It’s cyber crime.”
“Mobile phones are banned in examination halls. Therefore, even if the questions were leaked on WhatsApp at the last minute, the students would not know about it,” a WBPEB official said.
But the candidates are unhappy. “It’s a recruitment exam and, for transparency, it should have been cancelled. Despite a high court order, the board has not uploaded the question paper that was scheduled for the August 28 test but was cancelled as a bundle of question papers mysteriously disappeared during transit,” said Dhiman Biswas, anlother examine. NADIA: Hundreds of students have been cheated after buying TET questions from agents after they paid huge sums of money in Nadia. The students bought question papers costing anything between Rs 10,000 - Rs 20,000 per set from the agents, who claimed a day before the exam on Saturday that the questions were leaked and the papers that they were buying were original. But on reading the question papers at the examination hall, they saw that the questions were all different and realized they were duped.
Sources said there were some rackets in Nadia’s Nakashipara, Hanskhali and Krishnaganj to dupe students appearing for the TET exam.
A 15-page set of one of these question papers was made available for Hindustan Times on Saturday. At the top of the first page is written ‘Nabadwip Vi dy asag ar College’ and ‘BN-BKU’. The question papers are printed exactly like the original TET papers.
A TET candidate from Nakashipara said, “I bought a set of these question papers containing 15 pages for Rs 10,000 from an agent in Gachha village in Nakashipara on Saturday night. In it, all the questions were solved. I stayed up the whole night reading through these questions but was shocked to see that the questions during the actual examination were different. Many of my friends also bought the papers and found out they were cheated.”
According to the candidate, these agents are spread across Gachha, Muragachha, Dharmada, Sahebnagar, kandoya and Bethuadahari in Nakashipara, Nadia. The kingpin of them lived in Hanskhali in Nadia. Some students who could not pay the money for the question papers managed to get them on one condition — they had to surrender their original mark sheets and other certificates to the agents until they could make the payment.
The candidate also stated that these agents would play the same game for every competitive exam. They would claim that they had links with some employees of West Bengal Primary Education Department. One of these agents is a local TMC leader in Muragachha village in Nakashipara. Within a few years he became rich by duping candidates. His scam groups would also promise jobs to candidates as primary school teachers if they paid Rs 7 lakh.
On the other hand, question papers went viral on WhatsApp a few minutes after the examination started in Nadia.
Sources claimed that the question were leaked from Nakashipara through WhatsApp. After that it spread across the district and probably even the state.