TODAY -

On The Eviction Of The Candidates Of The Board Exam 2012

Deepa Khomdram *

Candidates appearing at HSLC examination at a centre in Imphal West district in 2009
Candidates appearing at HSLC examination at a centre in Imphal West district in 2009 :: Pix - TSE



With the onset of the exam season, the fate of 7000 students have been sealed guaranteeing the loss of a complete one year. The newspaper read loud and clear, "BOSEM invalidates candidature of 7000 students opting for hill centres" on the 23rd of February 2012. I bet the news was made to raise the eyebrows of many. But, I feel that it is no news at all for we all know this was coming though it came much later than expected! Malpractices during/in examination are nothing new.

This has been an ongoing affair everywhere in the world but more particularly in India. However, as compared to the rest of the country, the education scenario in Manipur has gone from bad to worse. History is the evidence of how the exam season is more like a ceremonious event celebrating with friends and family rather than taking exams to decide the future of the students.

"Khongban chenba" is a term which evolved out of it referring to the friends and family members of the candidate who are gathered in the school to supply the materials to the student. Mass copying, using unfair means during examination, etc is a common practice in Manipur. Although the practice had been curbed to some extent due to the intervention of some organizations, one has to go a long way to clean the system of examination.

Canceling the candidatures of the students, out of the blue, that too when the examination is round the corner, is not the solution for the problem. No doubt quality education is what should be sought but not at the cost of the future of 7000 students. Why should the students bear the brunt of the mistakes of BOSEM? The incident only presents the flaws of the education system in Manipur and the worthlessness of those heading the institution. What were the concerned authorities doing when the students enrolled themselves for the examination? Should the students or parents be held responsible for it?

No doubt education is the foundation for the welfare of a state but the approach BOSEM has adopted this year is something that can be termed as outrageous. I would, in fact, presume that the deed was done to cover up themselves but unfortunately or fortunately, it has reflected the deteriorating education system in Manipur highlighting their own inaccuracies and inabilities.

Strongly condemning the attitude of the authorities responsible for the eviction of the students, I would say it would have been better if they had tried to delve deeper into the issue rather than hushing up things by evicting those 7000 students. The reason behind why such a large number of students wished to sit for their exams in the hill centres is well understood by all and sundry. It goes without saying that the lack of proper invigilator at the exam centers, proper inspection during the exams lead to clearing the exams easily.

So why did not the concerned authorities resort to finding a solution that would answer the immediate need? Where the eligibility of the students sitting for the exam is concerned, the authorities should have verified it a couple of months ago when the examination forms had been filled. We are normally instructed to fill the forms and submit it 4-5 months prior to the commencement of the exams. This I believe is done so that all the required verifications could be done beforehand so that the concerned candidates may submit the required documents well in time. But in the prevalent scenario, this was the least that could have been done by the authorities.

It would have been much better, if the authorities had adopted a more reasonable approach. Instead of evicting the students from taking their exams, the invigilators could have employed more teachers or engage temporary invigilators for the hill centres. Even if there are limited teachers (I believe there are no dearth of teachers in Manipur), then the authorities could have hired temporary teachers from amongst the students pursuing their interns or researching.

In some other states, I have seen this approach being adopted when they run short of invigilators for the examination. So, if this can be adopted in other states then why can't we? Although this may not be a long term solution but the students might have had an opportunity to sit for the exams this year. The students might not have had to go through the psychological abuse.

I do not guarantee that all the 7000 students would make it through the exams and become great doctors, engineers or politicians, but even if they had failed, they would have realized that it was due to their lack of sincere effort. And this might have encouraged the students to work harder for the next session. It is said "ninth-tenth of education is encouragement" but the implication of the proverb is very bleak here in our state.

I am not, in anyway, implying that the students should be encouraged to use unfair means. However, I won't deny that steps taken up by BOSEM have gone beyond any extremities. The purpose of an educationist is to help students create their own image. It is a much clichéd saying that young students are like mud and they can be molded in any shape and size.

It is during this formative stage that a true educationist should instill good ideas and thoughts to these young minds. No doubt, they should be reprimanded for their mistakes. However, they should not be punished in such a manner that their future and career may be tainted. Let us not forget that by doing so we are actually compelling them to become a part of the unwanted elements of the society.


* Deepa Khomdram wrote this article for The Sangai Express as part of "Friday The 1st" column
This article was posted on March 05, 2012.



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