Rampant cheating in state boards worries officials

Guwahati: Cheating in the state board examinations remains a worry for officials of the education department here. Though the situation has improved considerably over the years, the state board exams record a higher number of cheating cases than the CBSE boards, the officials agreed.

Sources in the education department said students taking the exam from rural and remote areas, mostly dominated by minority and tribal communities, are most vulnerable to adopting unfair means in the board exams. The penetration of CBSE in such areas is much less and schools usually follow the state board.

With the Class X general mathematics paper scheduled on Tuesday, board officials have a tough time ahead. The highest number of incidents of cheating is usually reported in the maths paper.

The Board of Secondary Education, Assam, (Seba) and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) are compiling reports of malpractices across exam centres in the state to curb cheating. “From our side, we have taken all measures to stop cheating in boards. Students are being expelled from examination halls. We are mainly concerned about cases in rural districts,” said Seba secretary Kamal Jyoti During this year’s Class X state boards, even teachers were found helping students cheat. They were relieved of their exam duties.

Seventy-one ‘sensitive’ exam centres for the Class X state board examinations are being guarded by officials of police and administration, said Gogoi, adding that social environment determines the dynamics of exam centres. “Society as a whole has to be committed to holding examinations smoothly. We cannot do everything,” he said.

The AHSEC, too, has received reports of cheating but it is yet to compile data on the cases, said Jyoti Kalita, examination in-charge.

The CBSE, on the other hand, said its exams are conducted in a fairer manner. “Usually we give strict instructions to superintendents. Since CBSE allows only students from authorized schools to appear, the rate of cheating is low,” said Sanjib Das, officer of CBSE’s Guwahati zone.