Tight leash on matric exams

As a last-ditch effort to stop malpractices during the matriculation examination, the  Board of Secondary Education has, for the first time, decided to initiate disciplinary actions against centre superintendents and invigilators if students of their centres are found cheating. The examination starts on Monday.

As many as 5,11,443 students will appear in the matriculation exam at 2,362 examination centres. The board has formed 95 flying squads, who will keep a hawk’s eye on the centres, and will be directly monitored by the control rooms opened in the five zones-Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Balasore.

“Checking malpractices during the matriculation exam is our top priority. We hope disciplinary action against centre heads will help curb cheating to a great extent,” asserted board’s president  Satyakam Mishra. Last year, over 7,000 students were booked for malpractice.

Earlier, the board used to follow a three-tier squad system to keep tab on the examination centres: Squads at the headmaster level comprising teachers of the school, squads at circle inspector level and squads at the zonal level. This year board the has been banking more upon flying squads, he explained.

“We have increased the number of flying squads from 80 last year to 95 this time. Experienced, reliable, honest and efficient teachers will be part of flying squads,” added Mishra. In total the board has formed 114 squads, out of which 19 has been deployed at the circle inspector level.

Directions have been issued to the district administration to prevent outsiders from gathering around exam centres, especially at the sensitive ones. Out of 2,362 examination centres, 410 has been identified sensitive. Similarly, special instructions have been given to centre superintendents for carrying out stiff frisking of examinees.

Board officials have requested the SPs of Maoist-hit districts to take appropriate measures to ensure peaceful examination in these areas. “We have requested police to co-operate with us and avoid any kind of disruption during the examination in Red-hit areas,” Mishra added.

This year, 17 prisoners will also appear for the exam. “Fourteen jail inmates from Berhampur circle jail, two from Bhubaneswar special jail and one from Puri jail are appearing for the exam this time. Special arrangements have been made by the board for such candidates,” said N R Mohapatra, secretary of the board. Notably, out of 5.11 lakh examinees, at least 4,56,981 are regular candidates while 54,462 candidates are appearing the exam in ex-regular stream.

The examinations will start at 7.30 am and conclude at 10 am. Meanwhile, the students were busy doing their last minute revision. “I have completed my revision, but still I am very tense and nervous about the exam,” said Dipty Patra, an examinee. The HSC exam will conclude on March 31.

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