Jobs in Education System
Side ad-01
Side ad-02

Karnataka: Leaking system

EducationWorld May 12 | Education News EducationWorld
A series of exam paper leaks followed by boycott of answer scripts evaluation by teachers transformed the already hi-octane exam months of March-April into a time of high anxiety for the 596,739 students in Karnataka writing the state government’s all-important second pre-university (PU) or class XII exam, whose outcomes determine entry into colleges of students’ choice.
On March 20, the maths exam was cancelled by the department of pre-university education (DPUE) after the police confirmed the paper had been leaked in four districts of the state. Just 48 hours later, the physics paper was leaked allegedly by a group of teachers. Subsequently with rumours of other papers being leaked, DPUE postponed 15 exams to the first week of April. Since then the state government’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested ten people, including some teachers reportedly involved in the question paper leaks racket. The CID probe revealed that question papers were stolen from the sub-treasury office in Kadur taluk of Chikmagalur district, and auctioned to students from high net-worth households.
However, according to knowledgeable academics in Bangalore, while DPUE acted swiftly by suspending 14 teachers and derecognising four colleges for complicity in the racket, it failed to follow elementary rules of conducting examinations which would have minimised students’ stress. According to Fr. Roshan Lobo, S.J, principal of St. Joseph’s Pre-University College,  Bangalore, it’s mandatory for the department to keep an alternative set of question papers for each subject ready for use in the event of a paper leak.
“Surprisingly DPUE didn’t print alternative question paper sets. If it had, there would have been no need to cancel or postpone exams. Moreover the maths paper leak should have been a warning signal for the department to take swift preventive measures, but this didn’t happen and within 48 hours the physics paper was also leaked. These incidents have clearly dented the credibility of DPUE,” says Lobo.
Even as students were recovering from the anxiety and stress of the postponement of 15 exams, more bad news came with pre-university teachers statewide announcing boycott of evaluation scripts in support of their demand for higher remuneration. Mercifully the four-day strike ended on April 14, with the state government reassuring their representatives that their demands would be given due consideration.
The dominoes effect of the exam papers leak followed by the teachers’ strike is that the crucial Common Entrance Test (CET), conducted by the state government’s Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) for admission into the state’s 459 engineering, medical, dental, and other professional colleges, has been postponed from early May to May 21-22. This delay is likely to upturn the study time tables of thousands of students who typically write other competitive and entrance exams as well.
“I am also writing the Comed-K entrance conducted by private professional colleges scheduled for May 6, and the All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Examination to be held on May 13. It will be a tough call to prepare simultaneously for all these exams. More importantly, the admission deadline for most science undergrad colleges in Bangalore is end May. Since the CET results won’t be out before June 6, I won’t know my rank and whether I will get admission in an engineering college. My only option is to get admitted in a science undergrad programme, and give it up later if I get a good CET rank,” says a second pre university student who preferred to remain anonymous.
Unfortunately such stories of student anxiety and stress are unlikely to goad the state government’s department of pre-university education to get its act together. DPUE has closed the paper leak chapter with the suspension of 14 teachers and derecognition of four colleges. No exam paper-setting or conducting reform measures have been announced nor the ritual inquiry committee set up to make recommendations. It’s business as usual in DPUE.
Rutaksha Rawat (Bangalore)
Current Issue
EducationWorld April 2024
ParentsWorld February 2024

WordPress Lightbox Plugin