UP: 10 Lakh Students Skip Board Exams, Authorities Credit Anti-Cheating Crackdown, CM Calls For Simpler Tests

The Logical Indian Crew Uttar Pradesh

February 11th, 2018 / 4:57 PM

Image Credits: Bachchan Kumar – Hindustan Times, Vishal Srivastav – Indian Express

Almost one in six students registered for the Uttar Pradesh board exams skipped the tests in the first four days of the cycle.

The UP board exams began on February 6 for Class 10 and Class 12 students. In all, over 67 lakh students were registered for the exams. In the first four days, as many as ten lakh students skipped attending the exams.

The number of registrations and the number of drop-outs have both increased this year when compared with the last. According to The Times of India, this rate of absenteeism is the highest in five years.

Govt crackdown on education mafia stated to be the reason for drop-outs

Dinesh Sharma, UP’s deputy chief minister, cited the government’s crackdown on cheating and copying as the reason behind the drop in students attending the exams.

UP’s board exams are notorious because of the “education mafia”, a massive racket where sit-in replacements write other students’ exams for money and copying and cheating are widespread. Videos of students in an exam hall receiving help from relatives and friends in broad daylight, to the blissful obliviousness of teachers and officials present, have made their way around social media for years.

Deputy CM Sharma, who is also the state’s secondary education minister, argues that the money involved in education scams is “much higher than in any big industry … [comprising] hundreds of crores of rupees”.

“About 80% of these examinees were from outside UP. They enrolled themselves in schools which they never attended. In previous years, such examinees were seen only during the examinations. Students enrolled in schools where no teaching-learning took place the entire year, too, dropped out this year. Quite a high number of students who are promised ‘sure success’ by education mafia have also dropped out,” Mr Sharma said.

The state government launched a crackdown on these illegal practices this year, increasing the number of CCTV cameras, employing the UP Police’s special task force, and conducting online allotment of examination centres.

“We have studied all the possible ways and means of unfair means during the examinations. Those appearing in an exam impersonating someone else or involved in changing answer sheets before they reach evaluation centres will not be able to do so. Effective measures have been taken,” Mr Sharma told PTI.

Number of drop-outs expected to increase

The Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Board said attendance could continue to fall in the coming days because of the “strict measures” that have been put in place to eliminate cheating.

Along with the number of candidates and drop-outs, the number of students caught copying also rose this year. Mathura led the pack with 25 cheating cases while 19 cases of cheating were reported from Ballia. All in all, 1,862 examinees were caught copying as of February 7.

The Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Board said attendance could continue to fall in the coming days because of the “strict measures” that have been put in place to eliminate cheating.

CM calls for simpler tests

Saying it is difficult to predict how many more students will drop-out in the future, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath cited how the annual Kanwar yatra proceeds smoothly because the government did not put any barriers and allowed pilgrims to organise their journey on their own. He said that, similarly, teachers and parents should also not impose any barriers on students and “provide them with a good climate to cope with exams”.

“A fear of exams is being created among students … It is necessary to think on how exams could be further simplified,” Mr Adityanath said, as reported by NDTV.


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