Guwahati, Feb. 10: Students planning to pass this year’s matric and high madarsa examinations the “easy” way and teachers who usually turn a blind eye to the formers’ “activities”, think again.
The Board of Secondary Education, Assam (Seba) is deploying “flying squads” to catch cheating examinees and teachers red-handed during the examinations commencing from February 18. The squads, comprising Seba officials, will make surprise visits to centres with an aim to catch the cheaters off guard. The visits will be kept strictly confidential.
Seba secretary Dayaram Rajbongshi told The Telegraph that the squads were being deployed as the state government had asked the board to adopt a zero tolerance policy towards cheaters.
“The Seba chairman, myself and other senior officials will form the squads and chalk out a list of examinations centres to conduct the surprise checks. We might take the help of local police and magistrates to prevent any untoward incident during the visits. Instant action will be taken against anyone found cheating. If teachers or centres-in-charge are found lacking in maintaining sanctity of the exams, necessary punitive actions will also be taken against them,” Rajbongshi said.
The matric examination was at the receiving end of a series of controversies in 2012 — right from a question paper goof-up to a cow chewing up several answer scripts in Goalpara district — prompting Dispur to initiate a slew to measures to ensure that the exams were conducted in a clean and error-free manner in future.
Education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma last month warned that the government would force teachers who did not sincerely execute their exam duties to retire voluntarily.
Rajbongshi said Seba would introduce a four-tier monitoring system in the ensuing examinations, as part of which the 823 examinations centres would be divided into several zones, each comprising seven centres. He said a zonal officer would head each zone and added that the board would appoint retired teachers in the posts.
Beside the centre-in-charge, each examination centre would have a supervising officer, inspectors of schools will closely monitor and ensure smooth conduct of the exams in their respective districts and at the final stage, Seba officials will be engaged to monitor the process.
Rajbongshi said the board would also install closed-circuit TV cameras at several examination centres to record the process, right from entry of examinees, distribution of question papers and answer scripts to submission of answer scripts.
“Such an exercise will help the board detect cheaters and check whether teachers are performing their duties. A reputed firm shall be engaged to install the CCTVs,” he said.
Rajbongshi said the board had already started the process to install a toll free telephone number at its office to receive calls from headmasters and centres-in charge across the state about any inconvenience faced by them in conducting the examinations smoothly.