June 30, 2016 5:08:45 am
They could not tell a triangle from a circle. One of them said a trikon (triangle) has four sides and another student could not point out set two integers on a line bar, while many of them failed to solve two-digit multiplication and subtraction. Some appeared honest and wrote avadtu nathi (do not know) on their answer sheets.
All these 500 Class X students, who gave the these answers to basic questions during a hearing session Tuesday on suspected cases of copying at the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) headquarters here, had scored more than 80 per cent — a few even scoring 90-95 per cent — in the objective section (50 per cent of the total marks) of their mathematics paper in the board exams, results of which were announced on May 24. Also, all these students scored zero in the subjective section.
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At the hearing, according to officials, the students revealed a teacher used to stand right below the CCTV camera of the examination hall and tutored them answers. Some of them said they used to hear “voices from outside the window” of the classroom.
Parents or guardians of the students were also at the hearing.
“What caught attention of the examiners during tallying of marks was disparity between marks for their objective and subjective answers, particularly in Mathematics. Nothing untoward was noticed even when the CCTV footage of certain sensitive examination centres were scanned,” said Officer on Special Duty (OSD) M A Pathan, who led the jury of five board members. The 500 students, whose results have been withheld, were from three examination centres at Lambadiya (Sabarkantha), Choila (Aravalli) and Bhikapur (Chhota Udepur).
Also, all of them were from secondary grant-in-aid schools that reflected “improved” results when compared to last year’s performance. Improvement in results made these schools eligible for a proportionately higher grant.
During the hearing, students in presence of their parents denied any wrongdoing and claimed they have forgotten all the answers in three months since the board exam in March.
After warning the parents against “setting a bad example”, the panel assured that students telling the truth would be supported.
The move worked and a few admitted in their response sheets that they were helped by “someone from outside the examination room through the windows”, a jury member said.
“I cannot identify the voice, but someone just outside the window dictated answers of objective questions to us,” wrote a student. However, nothing was caught on CCTV cameras.
“During the hearing, a few revealed that they were tutored by school teachers not to admit that they have copied, but simply say that they have forgotten what they studied. This was the standard reply to all questions we asked them,” said Pravinsinh Rana, one of the panel members.
“The worst we can do is only cancel the examination centre. The board does not have any power to take legal action against such schools or teachers,” said a senior board official.
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