‘If sent earlier, burnt answer sheets could have been saved’
1,199 answer sheets of Mathematics and Statistics and 108 answer sheets of Minimum Competency Vocational Courses (MCVC) of higher secondary certificate (HSC) examination and 113 answer sheets of Marathi (second language) of secondary school certificate (SSC) examination were burnt in the fireUpdated: Mar 05, 2018 00:24 IST
The state education board could have saved 1,420 answer sheets that were charred at a fire in Kaij (Beed district) on Saturday night, if they were sent to their designated places immediately after the examination, as is the norm.
Sugata Punne, divisional chairman (Aurangabad), Maharashtra State Board of Secondary or Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) said officials are expected to dispatch the papers immediately after the examination.
“After the paper gets over, the papers are collected at the preservation centre, where unique identification (UID) code stickers are stuck on them and they are compiled in bundles of 200. These bundles are dispatched to their designated places [for assessment],” she said.
According to a board official, all the papers stored at the preservation centre burnt down to ashes after a fire broke around 8pm. These include – 1,199 answer sheets of Mathematics and Statistics and 108 answer sheets of Minimum Competency Vocational Courses (MCVC) of higher secondary certificate (HSC) examination and 113 answer sheets of Marathi (second language) of secondary school certificate (SSC) examination. The authorities are yet to find a cause of fire at Beed.
“The divisional office of the board maps the schools and junior colleges where papers are to be sent for assessment. The education officers are required to dispatch the answer sheets accordingly on the day of exam itself,” Ramesh Deshpande, a teacher from Bhavans College in Andheri said.
However, Bhagwan Sonawane, education officer (secondary) for Beed district, said that the papers couldn’t be dispatched on Saturday as formalities took time. “Considering the number of answer sheets and the number of employees, it took a while to stick UID stickers and make bundles,” he said.
On Sunday, the board replaced the custodian at the preservation centre. After a preliminary enquiry by Sonawane and the chief executive officer (CEO) of the zilla parishad, Sonawane submitted a report. The police is further investigating the matter.
The board will likely score the students in the missing papers by allotting the average of marks allotted in other papers, said KB Patil, secretary of the board.