It’s that time of the year again in Nepal when nearly half a million students appear for their school leaving certificate (SLC) exam — also known as the Iron Gate for its level of difficulty.
And all means adopted to clear the hurdle seem fair to students and their family members. Be it fake examinees, bogus invigilators, use of minors and even deals to help examinees cheat.
Low pass percentage is one reason why students and parents resort to desperate measures. Last year only 47% managed to clear the exam — 8% less than the 2011 figure.
Hence cases of parents denied the chance to pass sheets containing answers to their children inside exam centres attacking government officials and policemen on duty are not uncommon.
This year authorities in Mahottari district have detected a “simple and safe” method used by parents—use of minors to pass copying material to examinees by paying them fifty rupees daily.
“This is a new trend. Use of children for such tasks is not just illegal but also violates their rights,” ‘Kantipur’ daily quoted Pawan Kumar Kharel, a local police officer.
In Sunsari a principal reportedly made a deal with the exam superintendent not to allow frisking of students before they entered the centre as it could have a negative impact on the examinees.
Cheating is so rampant and brazen that even presence of journalists does not not deter the parents and the examinees.
On Monday, four journalists were manhandled by a police personnel when they tried to take photos of him carrying copying material out of an exam centre.