In a big surprise, an unusually high number of students enrolled for the secondary school examinations in the state of Uttar Pradesh decided to give it a miss. According to The Times of India, over 6 lakh students skipped the Uttar Pradesh board examinations within three days of the start of examinations – they began on Monday. Notably, this number exceeded the total number of school dropouts in 2017 examinations in which 5.35 lakh students quit.
If you think that the high absenteeism from the examinations is a result of some kind of boycott by the students, then you are wrong. For, the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government in the state claims that it is because of the tough measures introduced by the state government to curb the menace of cheating during examinations. Senior officials of the state Education Department have said that the measures initiated by the government include installation of CCTV cameras inside examination halls, and deploying the STF and local intelligence to crack down on the “education mafia”.
UP deputy CM and secondary education minister Dinesh Sharma said that this incident is due to crackdown on education mafia, which has been abetting the use of unfair means. Sharma also added that this impact will help UP board get back its lost brand value. “To me, UP board is always a brand. The consequences of crackdown on education mafia will be two. First, more students will take admission in our schools, and second, students will feel pride in enrolling themselves in UP Board schools,” Sharma was quoted as saying by TOI.
In a bid to curb rampant cheating, schools having hostels were not made examination centres. Many district inspectors of schools were also suspended due to laxity, added Sharma. The minister told PTI that the department had studied all ways and means of the use of unfair means during exams, adding that measures were in place to ensure that those trying to impersonate someone to appear in an exam or in changing answer sheets before they reach evaluation centres cannot do so. Sharma said that the crackdown on cheating rackets would continue.
As per official figures, a total of 1.8 lakh students skipped the class 10 and 12 board exams on the very first day.