Board of High School and Intermediate Education Uttar Pradesh
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
2018: ‘anti-copying’ measures drastically reduce examinees
Isha Jain, February 10, 2018: The Times of India
Anti-Cheating Drive Sees 15% Examinees Exit
Setting a dropout record, over 10 lakh examinees skipped the Uttar Pradesh board examinations in the first four days. This comes in the wake of a number of steps taken to pin down the education mafia that abets use of unfair means, and is twice the number of over 5 lakh students who had dropped out of the exams last year.
This year, nearly 66 lakh students registered themselves for UP board examinations for Classes X and XII, which began on February 6. In just four days, more than 15% of them have dropped out of the exams.
With almost a month to go for the exams to end, this percentage is set to rise. The Class X exams will end on February 22 and Class XII on March 12.
Class X students took the English paper while Class XII students appeared for mathematics. Education department officials said the dropout rate in these two subjects is usually high.
So far, the highest dropout figure in the board’s history was recorded in 2016, when over 6.4 lakh students skipped the exams. That was 9% of all the students who had registered for the exam. In percentage terms, this year’s figure is already well past that level.
CCTVs, STF got cheats to drop out
Even in 1991 and 1992, when present Union home minister Rajnath Singh was the education minister in UP and had introduced an anticopying ordinance, the dropout number stood at 1.3 lakh and 1.6 lakh, respectively, though the number of students appearing for the examinations was lower than the present number.
UPSEB secretary Neena Srivastava told TOI that the reason for such a high dropout rate could be steps taken by the government to crack down on education mafia that is known to facilitate mass copying.
She said steps like installation of CCTV cameras, deployment of special task force and personal inspection by UP deputy CM Dinesh Sharma, who also holds charge of secondary education, had instilled a fear against mass copying.
Although education department officials were expecting high dropouts this year, the extraordinarily huge number has left them shocked.
2018: Exam centres sanitised, ‘cheating mafia’ banished
Anuja Jaiswal, One Year On, UP Has Sanitised Exam Centres, Banished ‘Cheating Mafia’, February 14, 2018: The Times of India
It’s Not A Surprise That 10L Students Have Dropped Out
Exactly a year ago, TOI had reported rampant cheating in the Uttar Pradesh state board exams, with teachers and invigilators not only turning a blind eye to what examinees were doing in classrooms, but also giving a free run to touts, many of whom dictated answers to students through loudspeakers.
Sources in the “cheating mafia” had then said each student seeking “help”, offered as part of different “packages”, paid anything from Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000. While Rs 5,000 was the “fees” for students who wrote their papers with the help of their own cheating material, Rs 10,000 got one a dictation of the correct answers. The most expensive package, for Rs 15,000, allowed students to mark their attendance and leave while the touts and their agents wrote their papers.
A year on, things have changed. Exam centres across districts have been “sanitised”. Touts are nowhere to be seen and there are CCTVs everywhere, their feeds constantly monitored. The exams are held in silence.
It’s not a surprise that 10 lakh students dropped out of this year’s state board examination — the world’s largest in terms of the number of examinees, with over 66 lakh appearing for it across some 8,500 centres.
Inside the centres, and outside
The road to Shri Naval Kishore Inter College at Karanpur, near Agra, was almost deserted on Tuesday. Unlike last year, when “spotters” hired by touts strolled around to look out for “danger” (surprise inspections), the only people seen here this time were farmers heading to their fields on tractors. At the school, police personnel kept watch with a “static magistrate” on alert.
Though they did not stop this correspondent from entering the premises, personnel from the institute were busy checking students’ entry cards and the nervousness was palpable. A quick check by a TOI team revealed that all the CCTV cameras installed on the campus were working, with officials periodically scanning the feeds. No loudspeakers announced the answers as students attempted their maths paper.
Grumbles over lost money
The strictness, however, has not gone down well with the owners of some of the private institutes who used to make a fair amount of money facilitating cheating. They kept cursing the press and the administration for “blowing the issue of cheating out of proportion”. At two private colleges, the principals got into a heated argument with this correspondent. They accused the media of being “biased”.
“The owners of these exam centres, in connivance with the cheating mafia, used to make lakhs during the examination season. They have lost students who were promised pass percentages and been forced to pay back the money they had collected,” said a local education official.
A man monitoring one of the CCTV cameras at an exam centre in Farah said it was easy to catch anyone who attempted to cheat. He showed a recording from February 6 and pointed to a girl shifting “suspiciously” in her seat. “When we checked her, she was found copying from another student’s paper,” he added.
No socks, no shoes
At Shri Kaptan Singh Inter College, Meghpur, students were made to take off their shoes and socks and keep them in racks outside the classrooms.
Next door, at Shri Ganpati Singh Sikarvar Inter College, Luhara (Mathura), static magistrate Deepak Kumar stopped this correspondent and checked her ID as police personnel maintained vigil. At one of the centres, a teacher admitted that though mass cheating had ended, some teachers still told students an answer or two. She said students would now have to “really put in a lot of hard work to succeed in case such strictness becomes the norm”.
As a result, in 150 schools all students fail
Deepak Lavania, All students in 150 schools fail in UP boards, May 1, 2018: The Times of India
All students in 150 schools, including government aided as well as private ones, failed in the Uttar Pradesh board examinations, results of which were declared on Sunday. In 98 schools, no student could pass Class X, while in 52, the pass percentage was zero in the intermediate exams. Ghazipur district has the highest number of such schools at 17, while nine are in Agra.
Many of these schools had less than 10 students enrolled for the two exams. Apart from this, 237 schools in the state recorded a pass percentage of less than 20. Overall, the pass percentages for Class X (75.5) and XII exams (72.4) in the state were the lowest in a decade.
‘Will take steps to improve standards’
The pass percentage for government schools and aided schools for Class X exam was 72.29 and 71.55 respectively. A total of 77.19% of students enrolled in self-financed schools passed the exam, according to the secondary education department records.
In Class XII exams, government-run schools and aided institutions recorded pass percentages of 80.69 and 75.14 respectively. In private schools, this figure stood at 70.48%.
Agra district inspector of schools, Vinod Kumar Rai said, “Seven schools have a zero percent result in high school exams and two in intermediate. The data was compiled for this year alone (there are no similar figures for the previous years). Suitable steps will be taken to raise the academic standards in schools with poor performance.”
In 2018, in the Class XII exams, 65.07% students passed in Agra district, while 81.09% passed Class X exams.