The month of March is infamous in India for putting students and their parents across the country to stress and anxiety. The class 12th and 10th board exams raise the stress to a completely different level and puts a Bible in every atheist hands. There is tension of scoring high marks, getting into the right college and outshining the notoriously famous “Sharmaji ka beta“.
However, adding insult to injury the papers of Class 12 Economics held on March 26 and that of Class 10 Maths held on March 28 were leaked on social media hours before the examination. It is alleged that 1,000 students in Delhi may have accessed the paper.
The re-examination of CBSE’s Class 12 economics paper will now be held on April 25, while the re-test for Class 10 mathematics is likely to be conducted in July only in Delhi and Haryana if need be as preliminary enquiry has revealed that the leak for Class 10 mathematics paper was restricted to these two states only. More than a million students will now be forced to take a retest — for no fault of theirs — on subjects that they have studied diligently all through the year.
Central Board of Secondary Education Chairperson Anita Karwal received a mail containing 12 pictures of a handwritten question set of the Class 10 mathematics examination at 1.39 am, hours before the test on Thursday, The Indian Express reported quoting a First Information Report filed in the paper leak case. The sender asked the CBSE to cancel the exam as the paper had been leaked. However, the test was not cancelled as the authorities feared a “law and order” situation.
The leaked CBSE question papers may not only affect the future of millions of students, it may also affect Narendra Modi’s pitch when he sits for the Lok Sabha exam in 2019. The rapidly escalating controversy has a direct impact on India’s millions of first-time voters.
This must be the lowest moment in the 55-year-old existence of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The leak of a public examination question paper is a nightmare not only for the board but also for students and the CBSE must act and act quick to identify the source of the leak within the institution so as to prevent any such mishappening in future.
There is no denying the unfortunate consequences of the leak of question papers for students, their families and even teachers. But rather than only debating how to prevent such leaks and fixing accountability, it would also be in the greater interest of our country if we try to expend energy reflecting on the nature of learning in our schools, the impact these assessment systems have on our teenagers , the nature of textbooks we write and promote and the quality of youth we are preparing for future.