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Friday, March 20, 2015

Bihar hour of shame ~ mass cheating help by parents

March – April is examination time – anxious time for parents, especially whose wards are appearing for Public exams and some of them are expressive of the Cricket World Cup happening at this crucial time.  A  day after the mathematics paper of the Class XII Central Board of Secondary Education exam was reported to be the toughest in 10 years, the Board held a meeting with some of its affiliated schools.  The Board was reported to be considering making the marking more lenient than before.  In the exam conducted on Wednesday, students had panicked seeing a paper with a changed pattern. There were also rumours rife about the question paper being mistaken for the IIT Joint Entrance Examinations paper.  Although there was no official statement from the CBSE, agencies reported that the Board might have an evaluation committee take stock of the students’ grievances to decide if grace marks could be awarded.

This is not entirely new or the first time – students indulging in cheating / malpractice – carrying small bits providing gist of answers is also not unheard of – all along, these were considered to be few and far and done by those not considered good.  It places such errant students above those who had worked hard has been a sad reality too.  

Now suddenly, the photo of parents climbing the examination hall walls like mountaineering experts has gone viral !   India Today screamed ‘in Bihar, this is called reaching Greater heights’ and the photo had its reverberation globally appearing in Telegraph UK and other papers too.  The news ridiculed stating that in olden days, parents came to school to give tiffin boxes and now they climb to pass on chits !  

The system of education is pretty complex; the school system has an array of differently structured systems.  For some children of the city, education starts at age 3, from when on parents goad them to tough levels, demanding them to do whatever they were unable to do, putting them to grind  by enlisting them in too many courses, tuitions, and extra-curricular activities.  Now a days, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find normal children – children are not allowed to play – but watch lot of TV programmes and attend too many classes.  For the empty prattle, vanity  and boasting of parents – children suffer.

The Kamal Prabhu Prakashraj starrer Vasool Raja MBBS was a hilarious comedy.   Rajaraman, a small time don gains admission in Medical college by forcing Dr Margabandhu [Crazy Mohan] to impersonate and write exam his behalf. [98.3 ….. and How do I know Sir !!] … then when a tough internal exam is set, Kamal writes the exam with the help of Crazy Mohan through  Bluetooth !   In Sankar’s Robot – Enthiran with the storyline of Sujatha,  Chitti helps Sana [Aishwarya Rai] first by voice and then by emitting the visual images of books reflected near her. 

A couple of years ago, the shameful incident of a school in Thiruvannamalai - Mount Saint JosephMatriculation Higher Secondary School (known as Mount School)  caught in the shameful act of organised copying resulting  in suspension of 7 teachers, Principal of the school being relieved of examination duty caused sensation …. In an incident beating them all, the phenomenon of mass copying being helped by family members of the students taking board exams is doing rounds.  In the pictures circulated, family members are seen deftly climbing buildings in broad day light to pass them chits so that they can cheat.  More shocking is the fact that such incidents take place on a large-scale and open manner despite inspection authorities and police personnel being posted outside the exam venues.

The situation is so bad that the State's minister of education PK Shahi admitted that cheating-free examinations were not possible in the state. The exasperated minister told the media, "The government cannot stop cheating in exam... It is also the responsibility of the society to ensure a cheating-free exam. More than the government, the parents and guardians of students should come forward (to end mass cheating)." Lalkeshwar Prasad, Chairman of the Bihar School Examination Board, visited the centre at Mahnar in Vaishali district, but he and his colleagues faced the wrath of parents and others.

It is stated that the friends and relatives of examinees often hurl stones at authorities deputed to stop unfair means at the centres. They bribe policemen and teachers to pass on chits to their wards. “If we try to stop unfair means at a centre, friends and family members of the examinees gang up to intimidate us,”a schoolteacher is quoted as saying.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th Mar 2015.

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