Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Apr 2018 10:58:06

ONE of the early pressures in young life comes in the form of Board examinations that test not only the students but also their families and teachers. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, too, has highlighted the pressures of facing examinations during his ‘Mann ki Baat’ where he counselled the ‘Exam Warriors’ on ways to deal with it. The examination pressure for students of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 and Class 12 this year has transformed into a trauma after the leak of mathematics and economics question papers and subsequent decision of re-test by the Government-affiliated Board. This is a major embarrassment for the CBSE management and the Human Resources Development Ministry. 

Already there is uproar and protests over the leak and now the re-examination. The paper leak exposes the sham in security of data by the CBSE management and also shows the Government in poor light. By assuring a two-level inquiry into the episode, Anil Swarup, School Education Secretary, has tried to assuage the anger of parents and students but it will take a Herculean effort for the CBSE and HRD Ministry to find out the root of this matter. Mere lip service does not suffice in this case of grave consequences. The CBSE must tender an unconditional apology for its negligence in handling of the examination process.

Finding the culprit and ensuring strict punishment is one part, the HRD Ministry also has to hold the CBSE management, including its chief Ms. Anita Karwal, accountable for this lapse that has caused unnecessary anguish to the students and their parents. Public outrage is visible through the protests by parents across India denouncing the paper leak. The decision of re-examination has jeopardised many families’ plans adding to the stress.

The CBSE is the most preferred option for majority of students for the quality it offers as compared to other contemporary boards. Parents put their total faith in the Board’s process of dispensing education to their wards. And they also expect a foolproof system for testing their children. On the last count, the paper leak has put a big question mark on CBSE’s security mechanism. The Board itself has failed the test.