June 3rd, 2016
As soon as the Bihar Intermediate Board results were declared on May 28, it was a win-win moment for Ruby Rai and Saurabh Shresth — the two class 12 toppers from the arts and science stream.
But several eyebrows were raised when the toppers hopelessly struggled to answer basic syllabus-based questions in a TV show.
In the interview, Ruby said that she has studied ‘prodikal science’ (to mean political science), a subject that deals with ‘cooking’. She further said that the examination was of 600 marks, whereas it was for total 500 marks as per the mark sheet. Saurabh, on the other hand, was asked to identify the most reactive element in the periodic table, to which he answered ‘aluminum’ (that actually belongs to the less active group). In spite of securing 485 out of 500, he couldn’t answer a basic chemistry question on what is the link between H2O and water.
Ruby secured 89 per cent marks, while Saurabh scored a whopping 97 percent. Both of them belong from V.N. Rai College, Hajipur in Vaishali district.
The interview video immediately sparked controversies and raised doubts over the manner in which they secured top positions.
Govt. attempt to curb cheating is not working
Above instance reveals the true nature of education prevalent in Bihar. Last year Bihar govt. had to face embarrassment after a photo showing parents putting their lives in danger to help their children cheat went viral. According to the BBC report, this year the government had made necessary arrangements to avoid such discrepancies, CCTV cameras were put up in examination halls, 70,000 officials and policemen were deployed to various examination centres and a fine of Rs 10,000 was imposed on students caught cheating. As a result, more than half of the students appeared in the class 10 Board exams this year failed. Whereas, last year, 75 percent of the students had passed.
What are the reasons behind the failure of Bihar’s education system?
The key problem in Bihar seems to be the active mafia raj, involving teachers, students, their parents and the school authorities. Often, huge money is paid to ensure good marks in the exams. More the money you pay, more the marks you get. Bihar has always been on the tenterhooks for its sorry state of education and its legacy of cheating. The BBC report revealed how the state lacks quality teachers. Half of them barely know their subjects well. Absenteeism among the teachers is also high.
This expose has led the government to order a probe, asking the seven toppers from the two streams to appear before a special committee on June 3 for an interview and a retest.
Education is the bedrock of any society, how much our country prioritizes good schools and colleges will go on to define the future of India. It is on those lines that what happened in Bihar today is really deplorable. Through this instance, it is evident that malpractices are still looming large in the process of conduction of exams and correction of papers. The Logical Indian urges the governments of state and center to tighten things up and put education on the top of their priority and ensure quality education is provided to all.