'System fixed after toppers' scam, results will improve soon': Bihar edu min
It has been a year since the Bihar School Education Board (BSEB) was caught in a massive cheating and evaluation scam.
It has now come out with the results of this year's Class 12 board examinations, and almost 65% of students from all streams have failed the examination, making this the worst BSEB result in the last 20 years.
The results declared on Tuesday revealed that only 30.11% of science students and 37.11% of arts students passed, while the commerce stream had the best pass percentage of 73.76%.
A total of 12,40,168 students appeared in the examinations, and only 4,37,115 students managed to pass. Khushbu Kumari a student of the Simultala Awasiya Vidyalaya in Jamui, topped the science stream with 86.2%. Priyanshu Jaiswal of Commerce College, Patna, was the commerce topper with 81.6%. Ganesh Kumar, from Samastipur School, was the arts topper with 82.6%.
Last year's 'toppers' scam' revealed the deep-rooted corruption in Bihar's school education system.
The scam made national news when, in an interview, the science and arts toppers of 2016 could not answer basic questions about their subjects.
Former BSEB chairperson Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh was among many arrested for tampering with the examination evaluation process.
The scam revealed that apart from shoddy invigilation and unsupervised examination halls, examiners were often bribed by parents and students. There were also reports of papers being replaced by teachers.
Minister's hope for the future
Bihar education minister Ashok Kumar Choudhary spoke to Catch about the results, saying no matter how bad the results were, they could not be questioned at all.
“We took all the steps to eradicate corruption within the system. We have done our level best to ensure transparency and fairness in evaluation. Once students understand that cheating and bribery are not an option for them, the results will improve, I am sure,” he said.
“We want to improve the level of education in the whole state, starting with teachers, administrators, education department personnel etc. Bihar's students are very intelligent and hardworking, and we need to help them move in the right direction,” Choudhary said.
Steps taken to fix the system
According to sources, over the last one year, the Bihar government has tried to eliminate the loopholes in the examination system, and fix the machinery. Catch has learnt that changes have been made within the BSEB “from top to bottom”.
To deal with corruption, the government came up with some very strict measures. Sources told Catch that District Magistrates and District Education Officers were strictly warned by the state government that should reports of cheating or corruption be revealed in their examination centers, they would be personally held responsible for the same, and strict action would be taken against them. No such incidents were reported in the entire state.
Apart from that, the BSEB came up with bar coding of answer sheets to hide the identities of students. A bar code was created for each student, according to the roll number. The actual names and roll numbers of students were not revealed in the answer sheets.
Some students took to the streets to protest that the state education board had gone too far with the strict evaluation this time, in a bid t salvage its tarnished reputation.
According to PTI, a large number of students gathered outside the Inter Council office in Patna on Wednesday to protest the unsatisfactory results. A few of them also tried to climb the main gate, but were prevented by police.
Youth workers of Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav joined the protestors. Members of the right-wing ABVP and the left-wing AISF sat on dharna at Kargil Chowk in support of the examinees on Wednesday. The protestors were also lathicharged by the police when they pelted stones at the council office.
Even the topper, Khushboo Kumari, complained of getting a low percentage of 86.2, while she was expecting around 95%.
Minister Choudhary, meanwhile, urged the students not to indulge in violence, and apply for compartmental examinations.