Taking cognisance of the large number of Class 5 students being absent during the exams, the state education department has asked officials concerned in every district to ascertain the reason for their absence.
Sources in the department said the students may be “bogus students” who had never been admitted in the schools, but, instead, are being shown on the rolls by the respective schools to get the various benefits from the government.
The director general school education (DGSE), in a letter (a copy of which is with HT), has asked the education department of every district to send the detailed report of absentees in the examination.
The letter says, “The department is sending the list of the names of absent students from your districts. The district teams will be visiting the schools where the students remained absent and will be sending the detailed report of the reasons why the students did not take the examination and remained absent.” As per the information received, the DGSE had also chaired a meeting with the DEOs of every district and had asked to send the report to the department at the earliest.
Meanwhile acting on the instructions, Jalandhar district education officer (primary) Massa Singh has marked an inquiry into the matter and has constituted teams which would be going to various schools to check the records of the absent students. The DEO (primary) has assigned the task to the block primary education officers of all the 19 blocks in Jalandhar to visit schools and check the detailed records, including attendant registers, mid-day meal records of the students and reason for their absence from the exams.
It has also been learnt that the officers would be going to the residential addresses of the students mentioned in the registers to verify the existence of such students. Reliable sources from the department said a total of 454 students from the district remained absent throughout the exams and some came only to take a single paper. A total of 14,162 students in the district had taken the exams.
It is interesting to note that to avoid any kind of cheating or conspiracy, the block primary education officers will not be checking the schools of their own block. As many as nine block officers have been assigned the task of checking the 19 blocks.
Reliable sources from the department told that there was possibility that the students were bogus and were never on rolls and the inquiry may lead to a scam, as it would then be looked into as to where the grant coming for uniforms, scholarships, books and mid-day meal was being diverted.
Sources also said most of the teachers were showing more number of admitted students in order to remain in that particular school, as more the number of students, the better was the chance of that teacher to stay in that school according to the education department rules.
Massa Singh said the department was dedicated to remove every kind of wrong doings that were prevailing in the department. “Inquiry is being conducted. If found guilty, strict action will be taken against the accused persons,” he said.