How to pass an examination in Bihar with outside help (photo: Hindustan Times)
The state administration in Bihar seems to have thrown up its hands in despair with over 500 students expelled for cheating in just two days of Class 10 examinations. Bihar education minister P K Shahi has admitted that holding fair examinations is a big challenge in the state.
"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 told reporters.
According to the Board's special examination cell, seven parents have been arrested in the past two days, in addition to the 515 students expelled for cheating.
Cheating in exams is reportedly widespread in Bihar, despite the state having an anti-cheating law. Photographs have emerged in the media of parents perched at various floors on the outside of examination centres, trying to pass notes to the students inside.
Around 1.43 million students are appearing for the Class 10 board examinations this year at 1,217 centres across the state, many of which do not have the infrastructure to accommodate them. The school-leaving examinations are often marked by violence and the use of unfair means, including parents and friends writing answers for examinees.
According to NDTV, in towns like Hajipur and Nawada entire families head for the examination venues. While students take the examination, their friends or family pass them chits, without even attempting to conceal their actions.
Inspection authorities and policemen have been unable to prevent large-scale cheating because of the sheer numbers of friends and parents scaling the walls of the examination centres.
There have been allegations that policemen are even accepting bribes from relatives wanting access to the examination halls.
“First, I appeal to parents and guardians to stop cheating to help the government ensure free and fair exams,” the education minister told the media.
Perhaps he needs to send that message to the parents standing outside the fourth floor windows.