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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 4 Oct 2012
Zero cheating in Pune district

Pune district created a record of sorts on 1st March, Thursday as it recorded zero cheating cases on the first day of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination. Stricter security arrangements finally seemed to have paid off as overall figures for cheating cases across state also recorded a huge drop. Around 17 lakh students appeared for the examination conducted by Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE). On 1st March, Thursday, students from Marathi and Hindi Medium schools appeared for their first language paper.

Zero cheating in Pune district

State board secretary Shahaji Dekhane said; that 168 students were caught for cheating. “Four divisions i.e. Latur, Mumbai, Kolhapur and Konkan recorded zero cheating cases. Pune division that includes Pune, Solapur and Ahmednagar districts recorded 29 cheating cases. The maximum cases were in Nagpur division at 70 students were caught cheating," said Dekhane. M.V. Gosavi, divisional secretary of Pune board, said; that while Pune district recorded zero cheating cases, Solapur district recorded 26 cases and Ahmednagar district recorded three cases. The first day of SSC examination was like a litmus test for MSBSHSE. The steps taken to check cheating cases seem to have been successful, at least, initially.

In 2010, 353 students were caught for cheating on first day of SSC exam and 224 in 2011. In just three years, the numbers seemed to have halved at 163. Dekhane attributed it to stringent security arrangements at exam centres. “We have constituted 245 flying squads, seven for each district. There were squads of education officers and surprise visits to centers by district officials. We had taken help of the police to remove the crowd of parents, friends from centres as confusion creates atmosphere for cheating. CCTV cameras were installed at sensitive centres and collectively, all arrangements seemed to have paid off," he said. He said officials were content that unlike previous years, no complaints of missing hall tickets, mistakes in question or answer sheets or broken benches came in.

“We can proudly say we didn’t get any adverse reports from any centres across the state," he claimed. Mean while, the mood at exam centres was somber in the morning with parents mostly kept out of centres and only students and examiners being allowed inside the centres. There seemed to be a heightened police cover with policemen too making announcements asking students not to resort to unfair means. At some centres, students even took an oath promising to refrain themselves or friends from resorting to unfair means. One such example was Mhatoba Tukaram Vidyalaya in Balewadi, where Principal Shataram Pokharkar, said; 459 SSC candidates took the oath at 10.30 am before the exam began.

Meanwhile, help lines kept ringing and three counsellors appointed by board received 18 calls between Wednesday evening and Thursday from SSC students. “All calls were related to exam pressure, none of them were suicidal or under serious mental duress. The students lacked confidence that they would do well in the exam and most said they couldn’t remember what they had studied. Other common problem was they didn’t know how to prepare for languages and feared failure. Some students regretted not allocating time well but none appeared to be under extreme or undue parental pressure," said B.D Garud, MSBSHSE appointed counsellor.

He recalled a call where a student called him post the exam to thank him saying that “his exam went well and he might clear the paper”. “A student from Shivajinagar called me in an agitated state. His father had been waiting outside the exam centre and asked him how the exam went. The student told him it was a bit tough and his father yelled at him in front of all his friends and parents. The student was angry at his father’s outburst. Though I counselled him, I felt bad as parents should be careful in expressing their feelings," he added. Students do a last minute revision before the SSC examination began at Abhinava Vidyalaya on Karve Road on 1st March, Thursday, Sanket Deshpande.

Courtesy: Deccan Herald

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