High school leaving examination was long considered a bovine exercise in this age of 10+2. The rumination has now come from a cow named Mangala.
The cow didn’t just chew up some 150 answer sheets of the Class 10 examination earlier this week.
It left the bosses of Secondary Education Board of Assam (Seba) red-faced. Apart from battling corruption charges, Seba had been under pressure for leakage of question papers of the exam held last month.
The answer sheets had been dumped in a room of a government-run school in Goalpara town, some 150km west of Guwahati. Teachers of the school discovered the chewed up papers during school hours on Friday.
Mangala, whose owner lives nearby, was later found to be the culprit.
The cow had ‘grazed’ on science, history and Assamese answer papers.
Seba officials said the answer sheets had been evaluated, but were at a loss to explain how they would facilitate re-evaluation if required.
“We have ordered a probe into the incident. Action will be taken against the guilty for dereliction of duty,” Seba chairman Shantikam Hazarika said.
He added the Goalpara district authorities were probing the matter separately.
Students’ organisations were not amused even as Seba went into damage control mode.
“The incident has exposed the negligence and irresponsibility of Seba as well as teachers,” All Assam Students’ Union president Shankar Prasad Roy said, demanding prompt action.
The more radical Asomiya Yuva Mancha, a youth forum, went a step further by locking up the Seba office on Saturday besides burning its chairman’s effigies.
“Seba is playing with the lives of students. The chairman should quit immediately owning moral responsibility,” a spokesperson of the forum said.