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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

There is enough support from the CM for reforms in Bihar Board: BSEB chairman Anand Kishor

Three years back, a photograph showing parents and friends of students climbing school walls to pass on answers to examinees taking the tenth exams, conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), had gone viral, earning Bihar a bad name not only in India but across the globe.

education Updated: Sep 02, 2019 10:23 IST
Megha
Megha
Hindustan Times, Patna
BSEB Chairman Anand Kishore
BSEB Chairman Anand Kishore(HT File)
         

Three years back, a photograph showing parents and friends of students climbing school walls to pass on answers to examinees taking the tenth exams, conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), had gone viral, earning Bihar a bad name not only in India but across the globe. A year later in 2016, the board once again hit the headlines for a wrong reason as the toppers’ scam surfaced. Videos of toppers who could not pronounce their subjects correctively made a mockery of the state’s education scenario.However, officials at the helm of the board took the slur as a challenge and burnt the midnight oil to wash the stains of 2015 and 2016.

Cut to 2019, the same people who criticised the BSEB are hailing its initiatives. Thanks to the radical improvement in the conduction of exams to enhancement in results, BSEB started winning accolades. In August this year, BSEB bagged a prestigious award at the World Educational Summit 2019.

Megha spoke with BSEB chairman Anand Kishor to find out about the unheard journey of two years which took it from shame to pride.

Q) What was your vision when you took charge of BSEB?

ANS) I found that the board lacked transparency which gave scope for malpractices. The manual processes involved many layers and people at different stages were creating teething problems that were leading to malpractices and scams. So, my first priority was to automate the examination system. The board introduced ‘digitalisation’ right from the form filling process to declaration of results and subsequent process of scrutiny in order to minimise human interference.

Q) Where did you find the loopholes that created space for malpractices?

ANS) The manual answer sheet had details of students like roll code and subject code. Several instances were witnessed where guardians, teachers, and students were found bribing and threatening the evaluator to give students good marks.

So we worked to eliminate the identification marks of the students from the answer sheets. We introduced OMR answer sheets but the board observed students were unable to fill the OMR sheet properly and copies were rejected. To address this challenge, we designed and implemented pre-printed copies with barcodes and litho-codes for the first time in India. There were very few boards that had this system but none of them had barcode and litho-code.

3. What are the reasons for the improvement in results?

Ans) First of all, the board ensured fair evaluation and computerised marks feeding to minimise the human error of totaling of marks. The board also changed the question pattern as the old pattern was outdated. Due to the old pattern, students of BSEB faced difficulty in qualifying for reputed colleges in the country. So to establish parity with other boards, we reformed the exam pattern and also revised the marking scheme. We introduced 50% objective questions in all the subjects along with long-form and short-form questions. Like CBSE, we also adopted stepwise marking.

4. What are your future goals?

ANS) We are planning to introduce complete computerisation of our work, right from management to the lower levels. The board has also set up nine regional offices, each one in Patna, Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Chapra, Gaya, Munger, Saharsa and Purnia for convenience of the students. Earlier, students had to run to the Patna office for everything. We aim to better the regional offices and establish digital connectivity so that we can monitor the working of the regional offices from the head office. Affiliation of colleges, grant distribution and verification of BSEB student’s certificates and marks would also be included in the e-services ambit.

Q) What are the challenges you have encountered while implementing your vision for BSEB?

ANS) I am never afraid of challenges. However, more than challenges, I must admit that there is immense support of the chief minister who always gave clear instructions and guidance for the reforms. The students also supported the system and abided by the rules after effective implementation.

Q) How has been your journey in BSEB so far?

ANS) I feel great to be a part of this reform as I myself have been a student of BSEB. I feel blessed and thankful for getting an opportunity to make the system better and improve the quality of education.

First Published: Sep 02, 2019 10:23 IST