MAJORITY of students are aware of the unethical practices that are observed during board examinations. Instead of actual academic learning, our students collect notes and books that may help them cheat the system. So prevalent has been the practice that cheating has all but become a norm; it is no more taken as a sin.
The menace, or what was once taken as a menace, has now crossed the barrier of academic exams and has entered the domain of even public-sector professional testing.
I recently sat a test for the post of ‘sorter’ in post office and was appalled to see how it was being conducted. In the Naval Rai school — a heritage building, ironically — there was not a single invigilator who was even keen on stopping students from cheating.
Even the seating was crowded; two to three candidates were sharing a bench and soliciting assistance from one another, much like they did during board exams.
They were utilising their mobile devices in a different room to find the right answers to multiple choice questions (MCQs) as well as other objective and essay-type questions. The invigilator’s order to “don’t speak loudly” was the lone instance of strictness in the room.
And even that ‘order’ implied that ‘speaking’ was acceptable; it was pnly the ‘loudly’ part that was bugging the invigilator.
The effect of such invigilators would be felt by the applicants who had actually studied for the exam, but had no access to the internet.
Many of the candidates would believe that there is no merit in the system, and that all vacancies are ‘sold’ to those who are willing to make some ‘investment’.
Name withheld on request
Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2023
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