Heavy security has been set up at a state publisher’s printing press in East Jakarta to prevent the question sheets for the national examinations being leaked.
Balai Pustaka’s press in the Pulogadung industrial estate is responsible for printing exam papers that will be distributed to 31 junior high schools and 27 senior high and vocational schools across the city, from where they will be sent on to other schools.
Security measures include CCTV cameras that allow representatives from the Jakarta State University (UNJ) to provide around-the-clock monitoring, and a ban on bags and electronic devices, like cellphones, being brought into the facility.
A high-level delegation that visited the site on Friday, including Deputy Governor Prijanto and Taufik Yudi Mulyanto, head of the city’s education agency, were all made to leave their cellphones behind, take off their shoes and socks and be subjected to a full body search.
Prijanto said the measures were justified because of the importance of the exams. “These are state documents,” he said.
He said it was highly unlikely any insiders would be able to smuggle out the printing plates used to print the question sheets.
“They’re made of metal and measure 75 by 75 centimeters, so there’s no way they can be pocketed by anyone,” he said.
He said any misprints were immediately shredded to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
Taufik, while declining to say how many copies of each question sheet would be printed, said there would be enough for the more than 399,000 students taking the exams in Jakarta.
He said any officials found to have leaked copies of the exam papers would be dealt with harshly, but stressed the printing and distribution chain was secure.
Andi Rivai, production manager at Balai Pustaka, said it had 140 employees churning out 12,000 pages every hour.
“They don’t work in shifts, so it’s easier to monitor their movements,” he said. “And every time they leave the premises, they are patted down to ensure they’re not concealing any papers on their person.”
After printing, the papers will be collated and packed into boxes and sent to one of five warehouses, one each for the capital’s five municipalities.
Andi said the boxes would then be sent to the schools by post office trucks, which would be locked shut and the key held by a representative from the receiving school.
The exam papers for senior high and vocational schools, he added, were already packed and ready to go, while those for junior high school students were still being packed. The exams begin on Monday. Dofa Fasila