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Seba prepares to tackle cheats
- Board mulls extended expulsion

Guwahati, Jan. 2: The Board of Secondary Education, Assam (Seba) is initiating stringent measures against those caught cheating in the matric and Assam high madrassa examinations.

Sources told The Telegraph that in light of reports about rampant cheating during examinations, Dispur had asked Seba to work out a mechanism to prevent this and ensure better quality of education. The board has received reports that many students pass matric with flying colours by resorting to unfair practices.

“Seba is actively considering a plan to extend the term of expulsion of examinees caught cheating. At present, an examinee is expelled for a year but it has been found this has failed to act as a deterrent and prevent such crimes,” a source said.

The sources said the board might extend the term of expulsion to two or three years, adding that a high-powered committee would be constituted to fix the term.

“Stringent measures have to be taken, considering the gravity of the crime. The situation has come to such a pass that many examinees and their parents engage antisocial elements to threaten teachers and invigilators if they do not allow cheating at the examination centres. The number of proxy candidates has also gone up,” the source said.

Seba will organise a meeting of magistrates, school inspectors and headmasters in all 27 districts of the state at Pragjyoti ITA Cultural Centre at Machkhowa here on January 7 to discuss measures to ensure smooth conduct of the ensuing matric and high madrassa examinations scheduled to commence on February 19.

“Among other things, the meeting will discuss the issue of extending the expulsion term of cheats. Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is expected to attend the meeting,” the source said.

The meeting will also discuss installation of closed-circuit television or conducting of videography in examination halls to prevent cheating. “Though the education minister has already said videography would be conducted, the Seba has not taken the final decision. The board will have to consider the feasibility of the project. Considering the huge number of examinees appearing in the examinations, installation of CCTVs or conducting videography at all centres may not be feasible,” the source said.

An education department official in Dispur said passing matric examinations was considered to be very important in villages and remote areas.

“There are instances when girls in villages start receiving marriage proposals after passing matric. Such a scenario compels many examinees to resort to unfair practices to somehow pass the examination,” he said.