How would you react when someone tells you that the writer of India’s National Anthem is Harivansh Rai Bachchan? Or the synonym of ‘Ishwar’ (God) is ‘buddhiman’ (intelligent)!
Surprised? Hold on! These are the model answers to questions available on the website of Bihar School Examination Board BSEB), which conducted the preliminary test of Bihar’s premier Simultala Awasiya Vidyalay (SAV) on April 9. The marking would be done on the basis of model answers, which have such jarring mistakes.
There are many more such gaffes viz, tiger, not elephant, is the national heritage animal and Mahatma Gandhi wrote a letter to his son Mani Lal Gandhi from Patna jail, not Pretoria jail. In science segment too, the quantity of oxygen in air has been given as 78%.
“Not only answers, the language of questions is also quite upsetting, with innumerable spelling mistakes. For a premiere school like SAV, one cannot expect this to happen. Even in Hindi paper, it does not appear that a subject teacher has set the questions,” said retired teacher Ramanand Sharma, who now prepares students for Netarhat, SAV, Ram Krishna Mission and other premiere schools. His son is also an IPS officer.
“The model answers have nearly 20% mistakes,” he said.
PK Mishra of Boon Coaching, who also prepares students for SAV, said there were several mistakes - both in the questions as well as model answers. Brajesh Kuamr, another teacher mentoring students for SAV, said many parents had registered their objections with the board.
It was in fact a police constable, who approached a teacher after suspecting mistakes in the board’s model answers. And the befuddled teacher, in turn, went to Sharma. The constable, who did not want to be identified, had applied for Class 6 entrance test for his son in the hope of ensuring quality education. Only those students who qualify in the prelims are eligible for mains examination.
After skipping two academic sessions in 2013-14 and 2015-16, the Bihar board is conducting entrance exam for three classes this year – entry level Class 6, Class 7 and Class 9. However, the process has already been delayed with the mains and medical examination still due, while the academic session in all schools has commenced from April 1.
Bihar board chairman Anand Kishor said the students would be compensated for wrong questions so that they don’t have to suffer for the follies of question setters while the model answers were being rectified.
Strangely, almost a month after the test, they still remain on the website.
“We will also take action against the question setters and those preparing the model answers. Due to secrecy in setting papers, questions prepared by teachers are directly sent to the printing press. Those who set wrong questions will face action. We will write to the departments concerned in this regard,” he added.
However, it is not just about who set the question papers. “It also raises a question mark on the system through which such teachers get to the level where they are able to set questions for premiere exams. The entire teaching community is painted with the same brush, although the problem lies with the system that is unable to find good teachers in its quest for yes men,” said a senior PU professor.