The Telegraph
Monday , June 23 , 2014
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Teacher crunch hits exam

The problem of teacher shortage is being felt even during examinations conducted by Patna University.

The university is functioning with just half the sanctioned post of teachers.

On Friday, it faced the challenge of conducting examination depending on research scholars for invigilation duty because apart from fewer teachers, many were on leave owing to the ongoing summer vacation. As a result, many students were found indulging in mass copying during the LLB entrance test held at Patna Science College.

Amid reports of mass copying, the university on Saturday cancelled the law entrance test after conducting a meeting.

Patna University pro-vice-chancellor Ranjit Kumar Verma said: “Based on the report submitted by centre superintendent (CS), the university administration decided to cancel the law entrance test.”

Now, the examination would be held on July 2.

The bigger problem, however, is acute shortage of teachers who could be assigned the invigilation duty so that use of unfair means in examinations could be checked.

Around 800 candidates had appeared for the three-year LLB entrance test at Patna Science College but less than 10 regular teachers were on invigilation duty. Around 25 research scholars were assigned invigilation duty.

A professor with the university said: “We have found that research scholars assigned invigilation duty have failed to check unfair means in examinations because students don’t take them seriously.”

Moreover, the research scholars don’t want to invite unwanted wrath of students by stopping them from using unfair means.

The strength of Patna University teachers is 384 against the sanctioned strength of 885. The number of research scholars enrolled at the university is around 350, out of which, the number of paid research scholars is around 60.

Paid researchers are those who get junior research fellowship scholarships amounting to Rs 12,000 to 18,000 per month. Depending on the situation and number of students appearing in an examination, the university uses the service of the research scholars.

Sources said as soon as the examination started, students used mobile phones and took “outside help” in answering the questions. There were reports that some students threw their question papers outside the examination hall and their friends, waiting outside, marked the correct answers and threw it back inside the examination hall.

Sources added that the mass copying continued for the entire three-hour duration and neither the teachers nor the research scholars tried to stop the students.

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