LUCKNOW/ALLAHABAD: Over 5.7 lakh students of classes X and XII abstained from writing the UP Board exams in the last three days. Officials of world's largest examination body, the UP Board, claimed on Saturday that majority of these students had registered themselves for the exams simultaneously from two schools. Authorities also decided to lodge FIRs against teachers skipping invigilation duties.
According to the secondary education department, total 69.93 lakh students enrolled themselves for the class X and XII examinations, of which only 64.23 lakh are appearing for exams. This year 31.32 lakh students had registered for class XII exams, while 38.61 lakh had applied for class 10 exams involving private and regular candidates. While over 3 lakh class X students have dropped out, the figure of class XII was 2.70 lakh. There are 20,945 schools in the state affiliated with the UP Board.
Allahabad division reported highest number of missing examinees with over 1.95 lakh such cases, followed by Lucknow, Bareilly and Meerut. The board is compiling the data on day-to-day basis.
ALLAHABAD: The UP Board has miserably failed to check cheating menace in ongoing class X and XII exams. Unable to cope up with the criticism, the board has shut down the control room set up at head quarters to provide details of students caught using unfair means. The control room functioned merely for four days.
As cases of cheating continued to abound, the board decided to lock up to avoid any further criticism over high numbers of cheaters. UP Board secretary, Amarnath Verma, however, said, The divisional level data of day concerned can be obtained from the additional secretary office while that of the district can be obtained from the district inspector of school. However he
failed to give any answer as to why the system was changed.
I do not think there has been an unexpected rise in case of copycats. Everything is under control, he added. The first five days of the board exams have witnessed recommendations for cancellation of over 150 centres.
and punitive action against equal number of invigilators. Unlike the past years, the number of copycats being caught during exams of even less important subjects too is on the rise. Sources said that around 700 to 900 students were caught daily during exams of important subjects like physics, mathematics, history and social science.
ALLAHABAD: The UP Board has decided to withdraw recognition to schools that failed to send teachers for invigilation work in the ongoing class X and XII examination. Besides, the board has also announced cancellation of leaves of all teachers and asked them to immediately report for duty.
The Board is in the process of compiling the list of schools that did not send teachers for invigilation work. A board official said, "Most of the schools had furnished details of number of academic and non-academic staff at the time of seeking registration. However, in reality most of these schools rely on guest teachers. Hence, the shortage of invigilators."
Secreatry, Amarnath Verma said, "The DIoS have been asked to take action against schools that failed to send their teachers for invigilation work despite prior notice. Action will also be taken against teachers found absent during duty hours."
Following news of widespread copying, across the state, in absence of invigilators, the board has directed district inspector of schools (DIoS) of all 75 districts to withdraw recognition of schools that fail to provide a suitable explanation for failure to send teachers.
The Board has also directed DIoS to serve show cause notices to schools that failed to send teachers for duty on day one and two of the exams and direct them to send their teachers for invigilation work with immediate effect.
The decision was taken following reports of centres using a couple of available invigilators to conduct the exams owing to scarcity of teachers. At few centres, even clerks were roped in for invigilation work.
The board has also cancelled leaves of teachers and asked them to report for duties immediately. Officials have also warned of stringent action against those failing to report for duty.
Sources claimed that on the first day of the board, only 50% of the invigilators reported for duty at centres situated in remote areas of the state.
ALLAHABAD: At least 150 examinees of UP Board were caught using unfair means in class 10 and 12 examinations across the state on Friday. With it the number of copycats has increased to 312 on the second-day of the exams. The number of students caught cheating in high school across the state was 81 while 69 were nabbed using cheating materials like solver and mobile in intermediate exams. On the second day, class 10 students appeared in music paper while class 12 students wrote home science and language papers. Absence of static magistrates in some of the examination centres in trans-Yamuna and trans-Ganga areas ensured a free-hand to the copy mafia. In several centres, flying squad members were surprised to find galleries of the centres full with cheating material thrown away by students. Board officials said that in absence of evidence action was not taken on examination centres. UP Board secretary Amarnath Verma told TOI: "On Friday, 68 boys and 13 girls were caught using unfair means in the class 10 exams while 46 boys and 23 girl students were caught cheating in class 12 exams. A girl of Ganga Inter College in the trans-Ganga area of the district was caught cheating in Home Science exams." Meanwhile, district inspector of school Komal Yadav on Friday ordered that salary disbursement of an invigilator be freezed. The invigilator was caught promoting use of unfair means at Jawahar Lal Inter College, Sahson on the first day of the exams. The board has till now caught seven impersonators. Five such persons were caught in Kaushambi, while one each was caught in Pratapgarh and Allahabad districts. As per board officials, the accused have conceded to having taken Rs 5,000 for appearing in place of students in various schools. Meanwhile, a flying squad member claimed that due to absence of police force, several centres in rural area were at the mercy of copy mafia. "Even parents and friends of examinees were found loitering on the campus of centres in villages and helping students," claimed a magistrate preferring anonymity. On Saturday, class 10 students would be appearing in Commerce while class 12 students would appear in Economics and Geography in the first and second sessions.
Once the examination date sheets of various school boards are announced, anxiety and stress engulf not only the examinees but also their parents. Kapil Sibal of UPA II had his own ideas to make life easier for the children. He abolished examinations up to Class VIII and made Class X board exams optional. Everyone was initially happy. He also introduced Continuous and Comprehensive Examination (CCE) instead of annual examinations. CCE is one reform that is pedagogically considered far better than the existing system of annual external examination. The Kothari Commission (1964-66) recommended ‘continuous internal evaluation’, which can be put to practice only if conducted by trained teachers dealing with ‘manageable teacher-taught ratios’. The existing conditions in government schools are shockingly inadequate for regular evaluation.
A compliant CBSE, however, trained school principals for a day and introduced CCE, while the government schools, perennially short of teachers, were in no position to bring it in practice. Learner attainments became the responsibility of the learner alone. The worst sufferers are children from weaker sections with little family support for learning augmentation. On record, it is CCE across the board in the school education system. In private schools, with appropriate teacher-taught ratios, CCE is being implemented as instructed. Project preparation, a major component in CCE, instead of developing skills in critical thinking has led to copying from the Internet or—as an additional task for parents—purchasing a ready-made project from the market. New dimensions of stress have emerged, however. Weekly test on Monday means total loss of the holiday experience on Sunday, no visits, no outings. Researches in future would prove how this provision has adversely impacted family ties and wholesome growth of a child. Introduction of the grading system did bring some relief but that is confined to schools having teachers who understand the real difference between marks and grades, and are skilled enough to convey it to the parents. Such schools have an added responsibility of educating the parents. The loss of credibility of government schools has enhanced parental anxiety, which creates pressure on the learners. Parental pressure, particularly the assertion of ‘what I could not achieve, you must’, causes stress on learners. Similar is the case of parents who would like their ward to score more than the neighbour’s child.
Call it by any name, or conduct it in any manner, comparisons and competitions are two challenges that are to be faced by every child in his adult life. Examinations, conducted in an empathetic environment and through pedagogically sound procedures, could identify the areas that require additional remedial inputs. But that rarely happens. The damage that examinations could inflict upon the learner is best articulated in words of Einstein: “One had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind for examinations, whether one likes it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problem distasteful to me for an entire year.” He was fortunate to get out of the dampening impact in a year. This must be a rare case of a genius, not many, once thrown in the despair, are lucky to shake it off. How many of children study what they find ‘tasteful and interesting’?
Education policies and curriculum require regular changes and every change must result in load reduction. Some stress is bound to be there, but the levels can certainly be reduced. Evaluation procedures are supposed to encourage the child to move ahead in the area of his interest. That requires professionally equipped teachers and parental awareness of their responsibility. It is an encouraging sign that there is some rethinking on the issue of CCE or annual examination.
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