To ensure that writers assigned to students during board exams do not help them cheat, members of the divisional education board of Mumbai have recommended that students should be assigned writers instead of allowing them to choose their own.
Currently, after getting permission from the board to use a writer, the students have to find a writer on their own. The writer has to be younger than the student. Students who are differently-abled or ill can get a writer after approval.
But, the members of flying squads in Mumbai found many cases, in which students were cheating on their exams with the help of the writers this year.
Recently, a flying squad that visited Chetna College in Bandra caught a writer, for a blind student, writing the paper on his own, instead of the student dictating the answers to him. “The writer had come prepared for the exam,” said a member of the squad.
The flying squad reported the incident to the divisional board, but the members said that similar practices are taking place in exam centres across the city.
“At one centre we found nine blind students sitting in the same room to give the exam. Each student was dictating their answer to their writers and so, everyone could hear the answers,” said the member. “The centre should have kept the students in separate rooms to prevent eavesdropping among students.”
In January, school education minister Vinod Tawde, had also proposed creating a pool of writers that can be supplied to the students. “We will have to select students who can be trusted. This way there will also not be any shortage of writers,” said Tawde.