TODAY -

Holistic laws must to cleanse rot in examination system
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: March 17, 2023 -



IF at all the government enacts the proposed legislation under which student candidates using unfair means in competitive examinations would be dealt with stringently, there is no reason why the establishment should not incorporate provisions in the same law to penalise invigilators and teachers for dereliction of duty and heads of institutions for ruining career of the students due to procedural lapses in the form fill-up process.

Compared to the past when substantial numbers of parents and hired helpers used to be visible at class X and XII examination centres to sneak in prepared notes to the student candidates, vigilance by local volunteers, formation of flying squads by the examination conducting authorities and stern criticisms over rampant use of unfair means from different quarters have led to sharp decline in unruly scenes at examination centres these days.

Nevertheless; stray incidents of expelling students caught copying and detaining of individuals on the charge of impersonation during conduct of these two examinations underscore that use of unfair means is yet to be totally eradicated.

While the past trend of mass copying during examinations at the high school and higher secondary level has declined to a great extent due to concerted efforts and campaigns by studentsí bodies as well as strict vigil by volunteers of local youth and womenís organisations at examinations centres, itís an undeniable fact that the art of deceiving the invigilators has been unstoppable.

By no means, competitive examinations have been free from unethical means as could be comprehended from sporadic reports about the examinees resorting to various ploys to scale the test.

Acknowledging gravity of the situation and the adverse impact on the society in case such unethical practices continue, education minister Th Basanta Kumar revealed on Wednesday that the state government has held deliberations over formulation of a law to deal with usage of unfair means during examinations including sending accomplices/ helpers to jail.

Revelation of the proposed legislation in a programme organised by Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Pari-shad (ABVP) that too, a day ahead of commencement of the crucial High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) Examination-2023 could be intended to discourage unfair means.

However, certain effective measures should be put in place to outrightly disapprove the notion that students, who cheat their way through, should feel emancipated for successfully scaling examinations and to remind all concerned that such sense of elation does not reflect oneís genuine ability.

For instance, one possible reason for increasing number of unemployed graduates, possibly bred from the system of mass copying, could be their lack of knowledge and expertise.

While it would be natural instinct for the mediocre students to adopt all means possible, including cheating, to cross the hurdle, the teachers entrusted to oversee fair conduct of the examination are duty-bound to minutely monitor the situation within the four walls of the classroom.

Regardless of the strong urge and devising different deceptive tactics to deceive the invigilators, it is the latterís alertness or negligence at the examination centre which will eventually decide whether or not the student candidates repent for defying the standard norms of examination.

As such any law formulated to cleanse the examination should be made applicable to the invigilators and teachers on duty as well as heads of institutions, whose ineptness in the form fill-up process, as alleged by studentsí body - DESAM would be forcing at least 96 students of 10 government schools and nine private schools to miss the opportunity for appearing in the examination.

Similar to the importance accorded for free and fair conduct of the examination, the government should take note of DESAMís demand to investigate the matter and initiate appropriate actions against the headmasters, headmistresses and principals as well as staff of those schools for shoddy handling of such a crucial process and ruinning precious academic year of the victim students.



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