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515 Patna students expelled for cheating, govt 'needs parents' help'

The use of unfair means in the ongoing state matriculation exams has literally scaled new heights in Bihar with over 500 students caught and expelled in just two days and the state education minister saying the government couldn't alone conduct completely fair exams.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2015 08:26 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times
Family-members-and-friends-climb-walls-to-make-answer-chits-available-to-those-appearing-for-their-Class-10-exams-at-a-centre-in-Vaishali-Bihar-HT-Photo( )

The photograph was telling as it was shocking: dozens of people climbing up a wall of an examination hall in Bihar’s Vaishali district as many more stood on the ground below, watching the spectacle.

The people on the wall were apparent friends and family-members of candidates appearing in the ongoing Class 10 board exams, trying of pass on chits of papers with answers written on them.

But then, it is a scene common to many parts of Bihar during any big exam and the authorities have all but surrendered to the circumstances.

No wonder, an exasperated education minister PK Shahi put up his hands and admitted on Thursday that cheating-free examinations were not possible in the state, minus the cooperation of students’ parents.

Shahi's comments came after 500 students were caught and expelled in just two days in the ongoing state matriculation exams. The board's special examination cell also said seven parents were arrested in the past two days, in addition to the 515 students expelled for cheating.

A man tries to send an answer chit to a candidate inside an examination hall with the help of a stick. (HT Photo)

"It is impossible to hold completely fair examination without the cooperation of the parents. There are over 1.4 million examinees and with each of them there are usually three-four people. Managing six to seven million people is not a cup of tea for any administration. It requires parental and societal support as well," Shahi said.

He appealed to parents to not indulge in such practices but said reports of cheating in exams were common in all parts of the country, not just Bihar, adding that chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and police chief PK Thakur had been asked to further tighten arrangements.

Around 1.43 million students are appearing for the class 10 state board examinations this year at 1,217 centres, many of which are allotted a large number of students without commensurate infrastructure to accommodate them. The school-leaving examinations are marked by violence and wide-spread use of unfair means that include parents and friends writing answers for examinees, often guarded by armed men.

Experts, however, pointed out that the problem lay with the poor quality of teaching and the pattern of examination.

"After all, unless they are taught in schools, how can they be expected to answer? Just passing the test should not be the goal, but unfortunately that is the mindset," said former board chairperson Rajmani Prasad Sinha.

Another former board chairman AKP Yadav said the current situation was the result of a cumulative effect of a series of problems, such as irregular teaching, lack of quality, shortage of teachers and inadequate arrangement on part of the board.

"Students are in a dilemma about the exam pattern and syllabus, while the serious ones, who do it by themselves or are fortunate to be in better off schools, have to suffer," he added.


Parents help Class 10 students in mass cheating, climb walls to pass chits