Failed, passed, failed again: Saga of a girl who killed herself over it
Within hours of declaring that a 15-year-old girl from Hyderabad who committed suicide after failing in the Intermediate first year (Class 11) examinations, had actually passed, the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) on Saturday changed its stand and said she had indeed failed.
Arutla Anamika, who appeared for the examinations at Pragati Mahavidyalaya in Koti, committed suicide by hanging herself at her grandmother’s place at Bansilalpet in Secunderabad on April 18, on the same day when the board announced the results.
Her memorandum of marks uploaded on the website showed she got only 20 marks out of 100 in Telugu, which was her first language. Like Anamika, another 25 Intermediate students also committed suicide after failing to clear the examinations.
Following a direction from the high court which acted on a petition filed by Child Rights Association and instructions from the Telangana government, the board took up re-verification of answer scripts and recounting of marks of over 3.4 lakh students.
The board had been uploading memorandum of marks and also the answer scripts of the students since May 27, a deadline fixed by the high court.
On Saturday, Anamika’s sister Udaya downloaded her revised marks sheet from the board website and to her surprise, she found that Anamika had secured 48 marks and she was declared passed, more than 40 days after she took her life.
Udaya told reporters that her sister had committed suicide due to the goof-up committed by the Intermediate board and demanded that those who were responsible for the suicide should be arrested.
Late in the night, BIE secretary A Ashok issued a press note saying Anamika did not pass the Telugu paper. “She did not get 48 marks but secured only 21, which was just one mark more than the original marks,” Ashok said.
He said Anamika’s marks were wrongly uploaded on the marks memo as 48 “due to clerical mistake committed at the spot valuation center. The answer script clearly showed that she had got only 21, not 48, he said.
He said a total of 1137 students had their marks increased after the re-verification. He made it clear that none of the students who had committed suicide because of failure had passed the examination. “They would have anyway failed even after re-verification,” Ashok said.
“This is atrocious. How many times will the Intermediate board make mistakes and play with the lives of students?” asked child rights association president P Achyuta Rao and demanded that BIE secretary should step down immediately.
There were allegations of large scale goofs-up in the evaluation of answer papers and tabulation of marks by the Intermediate board.
Following a protest by parents and students, the Telangana government ordered recounting of marks and re-verification of answer sheets of three-lakh odd failed students free of cost.
The high court too, which heard a petition from the child rights association, ordered that all the answer sheets of the students be scanned and uploaded on the website, after recounting and re-verification.