Just a few days back, the government school at Sagore town in Dhar district (about 35 km from Indore) made male students strip to their basics before allowing them to sit for their board exams. On Tuesday, school authorities at several centres for MP Board exam in the city asked students to remove their footwear before entering the examination hall.
The step, ostensibly, was taken to prevent cheating as the schools apprehended that students hide chits in shoes and socks. "This is an order from the board of secondary education and what's wrong in this? The sole motive behind this move is to curb cheating," said district education officer Sanjay Goyal, talking to HT.
Goyal said the most common way students cheated in exams was by hiding chits in their socks or shoes. "This method might prove to be extremely successful in curbing the use of unfair means in exams," he said.
When HT checked whether any such order has actually been issued by the board of secondary education, SB Singh, the joint director (school education) of Indore division, feigned ignorance.
But, he added that if an examination centre superintendent feels that students are carrying chits, they are well within their jurisdiction to get them frisked.
A senior education department official, not wishing to be named, said no such instruction has been issued. "The frisking and checking has to be carried out keeping dignity in mind. For instance, a girl has to be frisked by a female teacher only," he said. On Tuesday, at various examination centres in the city, students stepped inside the examination halls barefoot.
The district education officer said that at many centres, where numbers of examinees are large, it is not possible for invigilators to check every student. So they asked students to remove their footwear outside the classroom.
In Indore, 41,547 regular and private students of MP Board appeared in the exams at 135 centres. The department had declared 36 examination centres as 'sensitive,' which can be read as -- prone to use of fraudulent means.