SLC questions sent to India for printing

KATHMANDU: Despite the installation of hi-tech presses, the government has despatched the SLC question papers to India for printing on security grounds.

It is learnt that SLC questions were sent to India in November 2009 to get them printed. The SLC exam 2066 is scheduled from March 25-April 2. Around 425,000 students are expected to appear in the exam.

Earlier, the Ministry of Education had decided to allow the Janak Educational Material Center (JEMC) to print the question papers.

The Office of the Controller of Examinations, Bhaktapur, on November 2009 had purchased Japan-made four presses for cost-efficient printing of the SLC materials with the financial assistance worth Rs 13 million from the Asian Development Bank and Denmark.

The machines have already been installed at JEMC.

Birendra Kumar Das, Managing Director, JEMC informed that SLC question papers would be put into print in an 'unidentified press' of India.

"Though we had trained the technicians and arranged for human resources following the decision of the ministry to entrust JEMC with the responsibility of printing the question papers, the government took a last-minute decision to send the questions to Indian press," he added.

A team of 60 officials and technicians had received a special training for printing.

JEMC officials expressed outrage at the decision and said the government drained tens of thousands of rupees to India for the printing.

Citing the leakage of SLC question papers printed in the country on previous occassions, an official at the Ministry of Education, however, defended the move.

"We have had many such instances of leakage of question papers before SLC exams when we printed the question papers tarnishing the government's image," he said.