With an objective to curb mass copying in the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Class 12 exams commencing from February 28, the district education authorities have spotted 52 sensitive examination centres in Amritsar district where the entire examination proceedings will be videoed.
The move came in the wake of a large number of cheating cases reported from various centres in the district in the 2014 board exams.
Deputy district education officer Satish Kumar said, “Last year, during the Class 10 and 12 boards, 36 and 22 cases of cheating, respectively, were registered. This year, however, the authorities have spotted 52 sensitive centres in Amritsar, where the exams will be videoed, besides drafting a strict action plan.”
District education officer, secondary education (DEO, SE) Satinder Bir Singh said, “We have appointed 80 observers and 14 flying squads and an observer will not stay at a centre for more than two days. Their duties will be rotated and they will send a daily report of each centres they visit.”
Stating that the copying and cheating cases have been reduced over the past five years, the DEO said, 15% improvement was recorded because of teachers not being aware of the centres of their examination duty much in advance.
He said random shuffling was done by online software, which informed teachers about their likely duty centre.
Speaking about another important measure, the deputy DEO said, “PSEB chairperson Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal has ordered shifting of open school centers, a hub of mass copying, to new buildings such as CBSE schools or government schools. This initiative will definitely bear a fruit.”
The examination centres that have been cancelled reportedly due to mass copying are — DR Modern Senior secondary School, Chhehart; Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Bhakna Khurd (Amritsar); and Sri Guru Angad Dev Public Senior Secondary School, Chamyari. Another three centres from where “cases of cheating” were reported last year, are Sant Baba Bhuri Wale Public School, Amritsar; Master Mani Ram Secondary School, Chogawan, and Guru Sar Satnami Sahib School.
Strict action will be taken against the students and people involved in cheating.
Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat said: “Various teams led by sub-divisional magistrates (SDM) will be conducting inspections and the district education department will also put in effort to control mass copying. If anyone is found guilty, strict action will be taken.
‘Need to amend examination system’
DEO (SE) Satinder Bir Singh said, “There is a need for amendment in the examination system, which has many loopholes.”
“An “open -book system” should be introduced across the state and only 20-25 marks should be allotted to the bookish knowledge. It is the fear of failing exams that leads to cheating, once it is changed students stop copying.
“The examinations should have more questions in multiple-choice format based on practical knowledge,” he said. “Also, quality teachers should be employed, especially in rural schools, to impart quality education,” the DEO added.