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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 02, 2013
The ISC Class 12 English paper-II exam that was to be held on March 4 has been rescheduled for March 16 after a school in Lucknow on Friday opened its packet instead of English Paper-I and distributed it to the students.

The incident took place at St Dominic Savio School in Indira Nagar. The exam board took strong exception to the incident and would take action against the guilty persons.

"This was sheer negligence on part of the supervising examiner and the principal's nominee of this school," said Gerry Arathoon, chief executive officer and secretary of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which conducts the ICSE and ISC examination.

As per instruction of CISCE, every school keeps the question papers of all the ISC and ICSE examination in bank vault. Only the exam supervisor and the principal's nominee of every school have access to the vault.

On the day of the exam, the duo has to read the question paper packet carefully, which mentions the subject and the date of that particular exam, and bring it in the school. After the question paper is brought to the school, the seal is opened in the exam hall with invigilators' consent.

An official of the council said, “The entire process ensures that before the question paper packet is opened, it is checked by at least three people. We really cannot understand how the exam supervisor, the principal’s nominee and the invigilators missed so many checkpoints. This is unpardonable.” 

Some council officials are blaming the quality of exam supervisors for the lapse. “Instead of an academic subject teacher, some schools are even nominating their PT teachers, junior school teachers and librarians as their exam supervisors,” said an official. “At every regional and national conference, we keep repeating the importance of handling the question papers and selecting the exam supervisors properly.

Now this matter would be placed in our next executive body meeting and action would be taken against the school,” said Arathoon. This year 63,189 students are taking the ISC exam from all over the country and re-making and reprinting all the papers would incur huge monitory expenses.

In 2009, the ICSE geography exam had to be rescheduled after a school in Bangalore had “wrongly opened” a packet containing the question papers in advance. The test was held with the second set of questions.