The Dhaka Education Board has identified five teachers involved in including a widely criticised question on the Higher Secondary Certificate Bangla examination.
One question setter and four moderators from the Jashore Education Board were identified.
Assistant Professor Prashanta Kumar Pal of Dr Saiful Islam Degree College in Jhenaidah’s Moheshpur was responsible for setting the question, the Dhaka Education Board said on Tuesday.
The question was moderated by Assistant Professor Syed Tajuddin Shaon of Govt Victoria College in Narail, Assistant Professor Shafiqur Rahman of Satkhira Govt Girls’ College, Assistant Professor Shyamal Kumar Ghosh of Narail’s Mirzapur United College and Assistant Professor Rezaul Karim of Bheramara Adorsho College in Kushtia.
“The Jashore Education Board will take action against them and inform the Ministry of Education," said Prof Tapan Kumar Sarker, chairman of the Dhaka Education Board.
A committee is being set up to probe the incident, said Prof Madhab Chandra Rudra, exam controller of the Jashore Education Board.
“We will conduct an investigation and take action accordingly. The strongest legal action available will be taken against them.”
The HSC exams for the year kicked off with the Bangla first paper on Sunday.
The 11th question on the creative section of the Dhaka Education Board’s exam was about two Hindu brothers involved in a land dispute.
The question states that the younger brother sold off a piece of land to a Muslim buyer to wreak vengeance on the elder brother. The Muslim buyer then began living on the land and slaughtered a cow there as part of his religious observance of Eid-ul-Azha. The question goes on to say that the younger brother, brokenhearted by the incident, then left his land and moved to India.
The question sparked a discussion on Sunday on whether it aligned with the government’s stance on secularism and communal tensions.
Education Minister Dipu Moni responded to the criticism on Monday, describing the situation as unfortunate.
Dipu Moni said that those setting the exam were given clear instructions on what they should keep in mind while making question papers.
“The instructions absolutely state that the questions must be free from communal issues."
“Bangladesh is a secular country. If an exam in Bangladesh includes a question that inflames communal tensions, it is extremely unfortunate. It is unacceptable.”
“Those we identify and those who try to cultivate such ideas in our students cannot be allowed to engage in such activity [setting questions for public exams].”