Maharashtra: 1,420 Class 12 Board Exam Answer Sheets Burnt In Fire, Board Says No Re-Exam
1,420 answer sheets of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations were charred at a fire in Kaij (Beed district) Saturday night. These answer sheets could have been saved if sent to the designated locations at the correct time. The Board has clarified that there will be no re-examination.
Sugata Punne, divisional chairman (Aurangabad) of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary or Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), said officials are expected to dispatch the papers immediately after the examination, as reported by Hindustan Times.
“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 to ashes after a fire broke around 8 pm. 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 the fire at Beed, as reported by Hindustan Times.
“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 the exam itself,” Ramesh Deshpande, a teacher from Bhavans College in Andheri said.
Bhagwan Sonawane, education officer (secondary) for Beed district, justified the delay in transporting the answer sheets by saying that there were a lot of answer sheets and it took the officers a lot of time to mark them by using stickers. The police are conducting a further investigation regarding 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, reported Hindustan Times.
The Logical Indian take
1,420 answer sheets pertaining to three different subjects were charred in a fire. The Board’s response is to give average marks to the students based on their performance in other subjects.
The entire episode shows the Board’s irresponsibility. Delay in transporting because there were “too many” answer scripts cannot be a justification and paints an even more lackadaisical picture of the authorities.
Every student does not possess the same level of competence in all subjects. S/he might be good at Mathematics and not so good in English. Several answer scripts of three different subjects were burnt. Allocating average marks in these subjects based on the average marks in other subjects (that might not even be the preferred subjects of the students) is grossly unfair.
The Board officials responsible for transportation of the answer scripts need to held accountable and the students need to be given a fair chance in a re-examination.