Action will be taken against schools if students are caught cheating during the Higher Secondary exams or questions get leaked after distribution of papers to examinees.
The council has also decided to hold back the results of the candidates caught cheating on CCTV cameras, to be installed at 40 “sensitive” centres. The exams begin on March 12.
“We cautioned the schools in advance to take all steps to prevent cheating or leak of questions. If we still come across instances of cheating or leak, the schools concerned will be penalised,” said Mahua Das, the president of the HS council.
The schools have been directed to alert the council if they lack the required anti-cheating arrangements. “The council can’t stop cheating unless the schools take a pro-active role. It is the schools’ responsibility to identify their problems and alert the council before the exams. If there is any problem, the council will find an appropriate solution with the help of the local police and administration,” said Das.
Schools, for instance, must have adequate number of invigilators and arrange proper security to prevent entry of outsiders, said a council official. “The institutions lacking boundary walls must seek additional security.”
Instances of cheating during the HS exams have increased manifold since 2011. The council has identified at least 40 institutions where cheating had been rampant over the past few years.
“CCTV cameras will be installed at these schools and the police and the district administration will keep strict vigil during the exams,” said a council official. “We will withhold the results of the students who would be caught cheating on the CCTV footage. The council can even fine the guardians of the errant students.”
Among the other steps, the council has decided not to allow invigilators and non-teaching staff to carry mobile phones to the exam halls. The teachers and other employees cannot leave the venue till the exam is over.
The council has also directed the schools to see that the extra copies of questions are kept in sealed envelopes immediately after the distribution of the papers.
The council had received complaints of extra copies being smuggled out while the exams were on.
An official said that in previous years students could cheat at many schools because of the influence of local goons and political leaders who forced the teachers in charge of the centres to be lenient in dealing with the malpractice.
The council also came to know that outsiders had free access to many centres while exams were on. “These people supplied answers to the examinees for money,” said the official. The council has received complaints that some unscrupulous invigilators had contacted subject teachers over the phone and leaked the questions immediately after the papers were distributed to the examinees. They allegedly took the answers and passed them on to the students.