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Surprise checks at centres
- Confusion over cheating charges at Madhyamik southern seat

Complaints from guardians about a section of Madhyamik students using unfair means at a south Calcutta centre caused quite a stir on Thursday, even as students put their heads down for their history papers.

A team of senior officials of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education rushed to South Suburban (Main) School, in Bhowanipore, after some guardians of South Point examinees, who were taking the tests at the centre, contacted the Board and demanded immediate action against those found “cheating”.

Examinees from three schools — South Point, Adarsha Vidyabhavan and Ramrik Institution — are taking the test at South Suburban (Main).

Board president Dibyendu Hota, however, said preliminary investigations revealed that the confusion at the centre had been caused by the late distribution of question papers. “An hour after the examination started, we received a complaint from guardians over telephone that the question papers were distributed at least 15 minutes behind schedule. We have sought an explanation from the officials in charge of the South Suburban (Main) school.”

According to Hota, “no student was found cheating in any of the examination halls at that centre when the inspection team did the rounds”.

Hota, however, said that in view of complaints of “cheating” from some guardians, the Board has decided to strengthen invigilation in some city centres.

“We are aware of some schools from where complaints of students adopting unfair means are often received. To ensure that the exams are conducted smoothly, we will strengthen arrangements and the inspection teams will conduct surprise checks from Friday. Special measures will be taken for the mathematics exam,” he added.

South Point officials said they would look into the matter, while some Board functionaries said they had been approached by some guardians to ensure that photocopy shops near exam centres are kept shut, as agreed upon before Madhyamik 2003 got underway.

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