WITH ONLY two weeks remaining for declaration of Class X results, the state board is hopeful of getting custody of some of the answer sheets stolen and later recovered this week. The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) Tuesday approached the High Court to get possession of the 300-odd answer sheets that were recovered out of the 516 stolen from an evaluation centre in Dahisar. The case will be heard on Wednesday. “We are hopeful of an order in our favour,” said S Y Chandekar, secretary, Mumbai division, MSBSHSE.
On April 4, four days after the board exams ended, 516 answer sheets of Mathematics and English were stolen from an evaluation centre at Isra Vidyalaya in Dahisar. The police then arrested two persons who had stolen the sheets to sell it to a scrap dealer.
Board officials said the recovered answer sheets will be evaluated as soon as they are received from police custody. However, there is no clarity on the fate of the students whose answer sheets remain missing. Even as the board remains hopeful of recovering the remaining answer sheets, the police said the chances were bleak.
According to senior inspector of Dahisar police station Subhash Sawant, the last paper was recovered on April 16.
In case of damage to answer sheets, the board usually follows the standard policy of allotting average marks of the available subjects.“We may assign the average of the marks the student has received in other subjects for the subject whose answer sheet is missing. However, a policy decision is yet to be taken,” said Chandekar.
The board has for security purposes not disclosed the identities of the students whose answer sheets remain missing.
The uncertainty has left students and parents enraged. They also feel that average marking system could adversely affect the performance of the students. “This (method of average marks) is extremely unfair, especially for students who have sincerely spent an entire year preparing for the exam,” said Suvarna Nagvekar, a Goregaon resident whose twins have appeared for the SSC exam this year.
“The fault is entirely of the board. If they can’t ensure basic security, what do we expect from them? They are playing with the future of the children,” said Vijay Margaje, from Airoli.
“The board must find a fair method of marking the unfortunate students. They must hold inquiry into the security lapse,” said Ramnath Shetty, a coaching class teacher from Kanjurmarg.
However, the board is yet to initiate an inquiry into the lapse. “We will look into the principal’s role in the security lapse only after the results are declared. We will issue a show cause notice,” said Chandekar.