LEAKS of examination papers have become a common and embarrassing trend in our country. Almost every year, there are reports of leaks but we do not see or hear of action taken against the culprits.
If the Education Ministry, especially its Examination Syndicate, is serious about ensuring the validity and reliability of our exam papers it has to take every report on leaks seriously and investigate them.
If this is not done, the problem will continue and tarnish the image of the ministry.
In the past, people had produced evidence to prove the leaks but often they are brushed off as rumours, and officers from the ministry take the easy way out by claiming they did not have the authority to take action.
Why can't officers from the Examination Syndicate report the leaks to the police and let them investigate?
Even if the proof provided comprises only a fraction of the actual paper, investigation must be carried out and action must be taken. It will serve as a deterrent to others who intend to do the same in the future.
Exam leaks have far reaching consequences.
First, they are unfair to students who have slogged for months to ensure they shine with excellent grades.
Second, it defeats all the genuine efforts put in by teachers to ensure their students do well.
Parents who sacrificed their precious time coaching their children and motivating them and spending money on tuition classes will also end up demoralised.
The Examination Syndicate which prints the word "Confidential" on every page of its exam papers will be seen as an incapable and weak body that is unable to administer public exams effectively.
Finally, for all those incapable students who score excellent grades based on the leaked papers, they will be a disaster to any organisation in the future and they will hamper the progress of the nation.
In this case, the not-so-capable ones will become leaders and bosses.
G.B., Seremban, Negri Sembilan New Straits Times Opinion Lletters-to-the-editor