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Teachers find letters, money in answer sheets

Teachers evaluating Class 10 papers in this Orissa district are faced with a unique problem. Though they have found cash and letters in answer sheets in the past, "the amount of money and the number of emotional notes has gone up this year".
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Jagatsinghpur (orissa)
UPDATED ON MAY 13, 2008 12:02 PM IST

Teachers evaluating Class 10 exam papers in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district are faced with a peculiar problem - they are receiving emotional letters and money attached to answer sheets.

While some find letters, some get money and others receive both along with the answer papers of the Class 10 board exam, with students requesting that they receive pass marks, Gauranga Dash, a teacher heading an evaluation centre here, told IANS.

The Orissa Board of Secondary Education (BSE) conducted the exams in March. Over 350,000 students appeared for the examination held in 2,046 centres across 30 districts. The evaluation takes place in over 100 centres across Orissa.

Though teachers have found cash and letters in answer sheets in the past, "the amount of money and the number of emotional notes has gone up this year", Dash said.

"I found Rs.100 in an English paper along with a letter," said a teacher evaluating answer papers at the S.K. Academy in Jagatsinghpur, over 100 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

The letter read: "Sir, I am very weak in English so I cannot pass the subject. I could not cheat and therefore I request you to give me at least pass marks. I'm attaching herewith Rs.100 for you to buy sweets."

Another teacher said that a girl sent Rs.400 along with her Sanskrit paper and requested in a letter that she be passed. "She wrote that failure in the examination could affect her upcoming marriage, which was recently fixed," he said.

The teacher, on conditions of anonymity, said he finally gave the girl pass marks because "she was just one or two marks short".

In Jagatsinghpur district alone, teachers have found money from dozens of answer papers, a district education official said.

Another teacher, who evaluated papers at M.C. Vidyapeeth in Tirtol in the same district, found Rs.50 and an emotional note in a science paper.

The letter read: "Sir, my mother gave me Rs.50 to eat breakfast after completing my exam, but I am sending it to you. Please give me pass marks in this paper so that I can pursue my higher education."

"We have also got similar reports from several evaluation centres across the state but I cannot immediately tell you the exact amount of money and the number of letters we have received," a state education department official said.

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