Stepping up its campaign against cheating, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education announced a series of measures to root out cheating during the SSC and HSC exams scheduled to begin next month.
Data from the board reveals that for the 2010 exams, the Mumbai division of the board had the lowest number of cases of cheating as well as the lowest percentage of such cases, even though it has the largest number of students appearing for both sets of exams. The board has eight divisions in all.
While 2,91,444 appeared for the HSC exams, there were only 40 cheating cases recorded, and while 3,47,632 appeared for the SSC exams, 81 cheating cases were recorded.
“In Mumbai there is just no culture of cheating, people don’t even consider it, as compared to the culture in some of the other divisions,” said a senior board official.
“Teachers and schools are strict, enforce the rules and counsel the students, whereas in other areas the support for children against such malpractices doesn’t exist.”
At the HSC exams last year the Latur division had the highest number of cases (637) with a 0.75 average, compared to Mumbai’s average of 0.01.
For the SSC exams, the Nagpur division had the highest average of 0.41, meaning that for the 2,00,316 students who appeared 814 were found cheating. The Mumbai division average was 0.02.
“Over the years, in general, instances of cheating have reduced and the plan this year is to bring it down even further,” said another board official. “The board has announced a system whereby responsibility for curbing the malpractice will be shared by a whole host of players, and not just the board officials.”