Only 11 of the 670 Class X students, who had scored nearly 90 per cent in the objective and a zero or minimal marks in the subjective section of Mathematics examination, earlier this month cleared the supplementary test conducted by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB). Six of the successful students passed the examination only after they were given five marks as grace.
Many of these 670 students during a hearing conducted by the GSHSEB last month over such variations between objective and subjective marks had revealed they were “assisted and dictated” by their teachers from outside the examination hall.
GSHSEB has written to the education department and respective district education officers (DEOs) to take action against these errant teachers from nearly 10 examination centres in three districts. “There are nearly 10 examination centres in Dahod, Mahisagar and Tapi (all tribal-dominated districts) where blatant malpractices have been reported,” said GSHSEB chairman A J Shah.
With over 350 students, the highest number of copying cases was reported from Mahisagar. It is the second consecutive year when large variations in marks of the objective and descriptive sections due to alleged malpractices have been reported. “In the previous year, 79 teachers were identified. Eventually, nothing happened since the board can only seek action and not act being a toothless body,” shared a board member.
Since 2015, the GSHSEB’s request seeking special powers from the state government to allow it to take punitive legal action against those found guilty of breach of secrecy by reforming the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) Act, 1972, and adding a clause of non-bailable offence is still pending.
Taking cognizance of these malpractices along with incidents of examination paper being leaked, GSHSEB has expressed its desire to become an ‘enforcing’ agency. “The matter is pending with the state government as it could be changed by passing an amendment in the Act by the state Assembly,” Shah added.