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Senior citizens supervise exams to curb mass copying in Maharashtra school

School says students see their grandparent in the senior citizens present in exam hall and desist from copying

mumbai Updated: Feb 08, 2018 19:24 IST
Ram Parmar
Ram Parmar
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Palghar,senior citizen
The experiment is an attempt to curb mass copying in exams, and will help in rooting out corruption from the grassroots level.(HT)

In a unique experiment, the first-of-its-kind in Maharashtra, an educationist who runs a 108-year-old school in a seaside village Chinchani, Dahanu, invites senior citizens not just for a cup of tea, but to supervise internal exams conducted in his college.

The experiment is an attempt to curb mass copying in exams, and will help in rooting out corruption from the grassroots level, the school said.

Rajanikant Shroff (82) a trained chemical engineer, runs the Chinchani Tarapur Education Society’s Kanji Dharmsey High School in Chinchani, near Dahanu. The school, which has a strength of 5,000, was the first semi-English institute started in Palghar district. The reason behind inviting senior citizens to supervise the internal tests is simple, said Shroff. “We need to curb corruption from the grassroots level, and school is the best place to start with,” he said. “Since 2013, I have been inviting senior citizens to my school for the same purpose. Majority of the senior citizens are retired teachers who are leading a happy, retired life, but I wanted their contribution so I approached them, and they were ready to offer their services for free,” said Shroff.

The presence of senior citizens in the classroom makes students think twice before copying, as they see their grandparent in them, Shroff said. “The students also take the exams seriously and study the subject judiciously.”

Copying in classrooms in his school has fallen drastically since he introduced this experiment, Shroff said.

Bhalchandra Patil, 65, retired as a teacher from a zilla parishad school in Dahanu. “This is the first time after my retirement seven years ago, that I am supervising an internal exam after being invited by Shroff. This is a good concept to check mass copying,” he said.

Jagdish Raut, 62, also lauded the initiative. “I retired from Arvind Gandbhir School in Jogeshwari in 2014 and this is the first time I am supervising an exam (at Shroff’s school).” Raut said he gives weekly free mathematics and science tuitions to Class 10 tribal students of ashramshalas in his village in Tarapur, Palghar.

Shroff said that he had wanted to start this project many years ago, but was waiting for an opportune time.

In 1989 Shroff’s eldest daughter, during her Class 12 board exams, came home crying and complained about the mass copying that was taking place in her class during the exams. “I got angry and complained to the Chief Conductor of Examinations, and immediately after that the copying stopped. Just because I complained, the mass copying ended, but what about the future?” Shroff asked.

The senior citizen said he has sent his proposal to the State Education Department. “Let’s hope they will adopt my unique scheme to curb mass copying,” he said.

Milind Borikar IAS, chief executive officer, Palghar Zilla Parishad, said inviting senior citizens to supervise internal tests is a good step to curb copying in classes. “I will study the scheme and meet Shroff in this regard, and will forward it to the State Education Department to adopt this unique project,” said Borikar. The project can be implemented in scores of ZP schools in the district, and also in the state, he said. “I will adopt this system in Palghar ZP schools on an experimental basis, after I meet Shroff to study the details,” said Borikar.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 19:19 IST