After striking similarities were found between the Indian Council of Secondary Education’s (ICSE) geography paper and the preliminary exam paper of a prominent south Mumbai school, academicians said the faux pas could have happened during the paper-setting process, which relies on prelim papers of schools.
Aggrieved parents and students have demanded the council conduct a re-exam to ensure that few students do not gain unfairly.
Teachers who have worked as paper-setters with the council in the past said there are at least five paper-setters for every subject.
Each of them submit their school prelim papers and a chief paper-setter from the council then collates all the questions and selects the best ones from different papers.
“The chief person is supposed to select a few questions from every paper-setter and not select all the questions from one,” said a teacher working in an ICSE school in Kandivli, who has been a paper-setter in the past. “In this case, it appears that majority of the questions have been selected from one person alone.”
While, Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary of the council maintained they were still probing the incident, parents and students have demanded a re-exam.
“The council must take a reexam as we have been cheated. Our children have worked very hard for the exam and so the council should be fair to them,” said a parent from an ICSE school in Juhu.
Messages circulating on social networking sites also caused confusion among the parents and students.
“A verdict has been passed; the board has agreed they had taken 80% of the south Mumbai school’s preliminary paper. They said it was a well set paper suitable for every Indian child of the year 2014-15,” read one message circulating on social networks.
Rumours that re-tests will be held in April were also doing the rounds. However, Arathoon refuted the claims. “We have not completed the investigation yet, we will inform the media once we come up with a decision.”
Meanwhile, school authorities refused to comment despite repeated attempts.