Parents encourage exam cheating in India
SEE ALSO :Kahuhia Girls maintain upward trajectoryCopying is rampant during state-run standardized tests and invigilators look the other way when pupils consult peers via WhatsApp messages on phones or jot down answers from notes smuggled into classrooms. More than 1.4 million students are taking the tests this week, crammed into 1,217 examination centres in Bihar. Supervisors stationed at notorious test centres vie for the postings, enticed by the prospect of bribes from parents eager to have their wards scrape through. Cheating has been on the rise since the state government offered cash rewards of 10,000 rupees ($160) to lower-caste students who were able to answer about half the questions on their tests. This year, more than 1,000 students were caught cheating in three days and have been expelled. The tests end on March 24.
SEE ALSO :Naikarra lays to rest 2018 ghostsAttempts to chase away family members lurking outside test centres on Thursday backfired, with stone-pelting mobs forcing police to beat a retreat. BSEB Secretary Srinivas Chandra Tiwari told Reuters of plans to hold awareness workshops for students and parents, where attendees would be counselled against unfair means. But many parents blame the government and indifferent teachers for Bihar's failure to curb cheating. The state government has been accused of hiring more than 400,000 teachers on contract without checking their proficiency. In the last two years, more than 12,500 teachers failed competency tests, unable to solve questions designed for fifth-graders. "Why blame only the students? Are schools imparting proper teaching? They lack quality teachers," said Sanjeev Kumar Singh, whose son is taking the tests this year.
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