Gujarat: Students Who Couldn’t Even Spell Their Name, Excelled In Class 10 English Exams - Mass Copying Found
During this year’s board exams conducted by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Examination Board (GSHSEB), around 200 students were caught cheating across various exam centres in Panchmahal district. A session was conducted with the caught students, and there it emerged that this was a case of mass copying. The students proven guilty are being barred from giving the exams for 2-3 years.
As reported by the Indian Express, GSHSEB Chairman, A J Shah said, “This year strict action will be taken against all those involved, right from teachers who assisted in mass copying to the centre supervisors,”
“Since we were already doubtful about this particular centre, all these instances strengthened our doubts. We decided to investigate these cases and therefore directed the evaluators to keep the answer-sheets of students from this centre separate and not mix with the other districts. They were told to spot what is “common” and “unusually different” in these answer-sheets,” said GSHSEB’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD) M A Pathan.
Students who could not spell simple words like, ‘friend’, ‘clever’, ‘fondly’, ‘tennis’ and even their name have excelled in the English exam.
In Sanskrit exam, students made same mistakes while translating Sanskrit shlokas into Gujarati and in the Hindi exam they attempted the same questions of poetry and story writing.
According to the Indian Express, out of 230 cases of cheating detected by the GSHSEB, 96 cases have been confirmed from one examination centre of Kavali in Panchmahal district.
State board has recently scheduled the hearing of remaining 130 cases who wrote similar answers and made similar mistakes in the exams.
In the case of Morva Rena centre in Panchmahal, the evaluators pointed out the similarities even before the suspected students were called for hearing. The results of the students under suspicion have been withheld.
Reports suggest that Panchmahal district was under the radar of the examination branch since 2017, and huge variations detected in the OMR marks and subjective answers of students of class X led to more investigation.
Another reason, which led to suspicion, was the missing CCTV footage that the centre submitted to the board. When asked for the missing intervals, the exam centre in-charge blamed it on the erratic power supply. Later when they verified with Gujarat State Electricity Board, the GSHSEB found that the report of the electricity board did not match with that of the centre.
Among the other similar answers was the essay on “My Best Friend”, It was the same in almost 100 answer sheets and copied from one of the English guides used by students. Not even the name of the ‘best friend’ was changed.
Other members who conducted the hearing also informed that students had never heard of tennis and when they were asked to write a few sentences on the same, they failed to do so. A lot of them could not even write their own name in English.
The Logical Indian Take
Incidents of mass cheating during exams have been plaguing the Indian education system. Cases have come to light in the past from Bihar and UP as well. Not only the students, the teachers and other officials should be strictly punished if they are found to be guilty.
In the recent Gujarat incident, a senior GSHSEB official said that this a reason for concern because cheating was done in relatively easy subjects. GSHSEB should do a thorough investigation and make stringent provisions so that incidents of mass cheating don’t happen, in any subject, easy or otherwise.