The Bihar School Examination Board is expecting a drastic fall in the pass percentage of the 10th board and 12th board students who appeared in their examinations this year because of tightened security measures adopted by the state government to stop mass scale cheating and manipulation of answer sheets.
The state government, which was embarrassed last year by media reports and visuals of guardians helping their wards in cheating in Class X and Class XII exams, has spared no effort this time to ensure that no irregularities happen during the checking of answer sheets. However, this might lead to a massive decrease in the pass percentage. In 1996, when the board exams were conducted under the Patna High Court supervision, the pass percentage had fallen sharply from the previous year.
“This time we had made elaborate security plans for conducting the exams and also for the evaluation of the answer sheets. The students have been devoid of any external help and due to this we are expecting a drastic fall in the percentage of people who pass the examination. Around 70% students have been passing the exams for the last 5 years”, a senior official with the board told this newspaper requesting anonymity.
The Bihar School Examination Board, which conducted the 10th and the 12th board exams last week, has installed CCTV cameras at the evaluation centres where the answer sheets will be checked. Officials said that the live feed from the CCTVs will be monitored by the respective district magistrates who will also be able to keep an eye on the examiner and the head examiner to make sure that they do not make any change in the answer sheet of the candidates.
As per officials, 75 evaluation centers have been operationalised in the state, of which 34 centres will examine the answer sheets of the science stream, 32 of the arts stream, and five of the vocational courses.
“A foolproof system has been made to make sure that no manipulation by the examiners, which has been happening in the past, is done this time. Every detail regarding the movement of the examiners, whom they met, when they went out, the copy that they checked, will be recorded by us. A representative of the DM too would be posted at these evaluation centers from 10 am to 5 pm as a precaution,” an official of the board, requesting anonymity, said.
Officials said that the examiners and the head examiners have also been asked to carefully check the copy and any instance of a slip back will lead to serious action against the examiners. “We have received several complaints in the past that the examiners give marks as per their whims and fancy without thoroughly going through the answer sheets. This time we have specifically asked them to make sure that this does not happen, and every copy is checked meticulously,” the official added.
Last year, a picture of guardians climbing a school’s wall to help their wards cheat had gone viral. The Bihar government this time was forced to take stern steps including installation of CCTV cameras at examination centre, live webcasting of exam centres and deploying close to eight lakh security personnel to oversee the nearly 14 lakh student who appeared for their 10th board exams and nearly 15 lakh students who appeared for their 12th board exams.