Open School exam under vigilant CCTV eyes

STATE-LEVEL Open School exam being conducted amidst tight security saw the largest turnout on Saturday with over 500 high and higher secondary students appearing for their fourth paper at Subhash Higher Secondary School, Bada Ganpati.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2006 01:44 IST

STATE-LEVEL Open School exam being conducted amidst tight security saw the largest turnout on Saturday with over 500 high and higher secondary students appearing for their fourth paper at Subhash Higher Secondary School, Bada Ganpati.

As per official records, 409 high school students appeared for their Hindi paper and 124 higher secondary examinees for their Chemistry paper, taking the total turnout to 533 students.

The exam has been in the news due to two reasons: first, for the centre’s reputation as a copying hotspot and second for the hi-tech surveillance put in place on school premises for the first time to curb copying. Due to heightened surveillance 10 students who had come to the exam centre with study material with an intention to copy went back without taking the exam on the first day on Thursday. Partly due to these measures, no case of copying was registered despite a large attendance on Saturday.

Divisional Education Officer SB Singh, who has been camping at the centre from day one and who has been instrumental in changing its image by drawing attention of the education department on this State-level exam, told Hindustan Times that he wished to make the conduct of this exam a model.

Even before assuming office he was aware of the reputation of this centre and the rampant copying that went on. Officials told him about the presence of a two-way close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Sharda Girls’ School, prompting him to put them to good use here.

“The school has 24 cameras, which are seldom used and on enquiry I was told by the school administration that they were all in working condition and therefore, I ordered for 12 cameras and installed nine in the classrooms where the exams are being conducted, keeping three in reserve stock.

A control room has been set up in the principal’s cabin from where the examination proceedings are being monitored”, Singh said adding that “such an elaborate arrangement to catch copycats has been made for the first time”.

Officials present at the control room not only keep an eye on students but also on the movement of invigilators and give them necessary instructions from time to time. The department has also made provisions for the comfort of students by providing chairs and desks adding to the existing number of 220.

A three-level security check has been put in place. Policemen have been posted on the road leading to the school, followed by policemen manning the school gate who disallow entry of outside elements and vehicles into the school campus during exam hours.

Invigilators strictly ask students to leave study material outside the classrooms before entering the examination hall. The strict security arrangement, heavy police presence, heightened alertness on the part of invigilators and presence of CCTV cameras in exam halls have proved successful in curbing copying. Exams are being conducted under the watchful eye of centre in-charge Dr Solanki and SS Thakur.

First Published: Dec 31, 2006 01:44 IST