New Delhi: The Human Resource and Development Ministry is as confused as everybody else. Heckled by the media, it announced on Friday that CBSE’s Class 12 economics re-test will be held on April 25 all across the country.
The HRD Ministry, however, did not announce a date for the Class 10 maths exam, saying the CBSE would take a decision on that later. But, in case, the CBSE does decide to actually re-conduct the Class 10 maths exam, the retest will be held in July and only in Delhi and Haryana. The reason for the uncertainty is that the Education Department has doubts whether the Class 10 mathematics paper had actually leaked. The CBSE is still verifying whether a leak did take place and whether the Board needs to hold a reexam.
The haze is likely to lift in a fortnight’s time. The nationwide re-test for the economics paper is aimed at ensuring that students who had access to the leaked papers do not have an advantage in college admissions. But since most Class 10 students continue in the same school, government sources explained, students would not lose their competitive edge to students who may have had access to the leaked papers. The paper leak has triggered massive outrage from parents and students against the CBSE, particularly its chief Anita Karwal. To demands that she be sacked, Education Secretary Anil Swarup said “you cannot hold someone responsible without an investigation”.
“Let there be a clear inquiry and action will be taken against whoever is at fault,” he promised. He also addressed the criticism that the CBSE had acted too late despite having been tipped off about the leak. Since the email about the leaked paper was sent on the CBSE chief ’s official email, she saw it only minutes before the examination was to start. By the time she got a confirmation that this leak was for real, the examination had already started.
“Our immediate concern is that the children of this country should not suffer unnecessarily. The decision we have taken is in their interest but this does not mean the inquiry will end,” Swarup added. The All India Parents Association has said it would file a petition in the Delhi High Court on Monday seeking a court-monitored probe into the matter. “The leaks have rocked the confidence of parents and students. Question is now being raised over the examination system being followed,” president of the association and lawyer Ashok Agarwal said. The petition will also seek a direction from the High Court to the CBSE for liberal award of marks for the re-examinations.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has asked students and parents to boycott re-examination for papers that got leaked. Railways minister Piyush Goyal seems to have put the blame of the CBSE paper leak on the resolve of students, saying that students should have rejected the leaked paper even if it came to them. “As a student I should have rejected the paper even if it came to me. Unfortunately it is very tough & children have to suffer the consequences of a few people’s misdemeanour,’’ he said.
PM Modi has failed in this exam
Even as Prime Minister Modi maintains a stoic silence on the CBSE leaks, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has put out on Twitter a spoof called “Exam Warriors 2.” It is a sequel to Modi’s book ‘Exam Warriors’ containing his sermons on examination stress. Sharply questioning CBSE’s failure to keep a lid on the exam questions, Gandhi writes: “PM wrote Exam Warriors, a book to teach students stress relief during exams. Next up: Exam Warriors 2, a book to teach students and parents stress relief, once their lives are destroyed due to leaked exam papers.”
Modi’s Exam Warriors, an illustrated guide, went on sale on February 3. In recent past, the prime minister also addressed CBSE students and gave them loads of advice at a Delhi event called Pariksha Pe Charcha. When the news of the leaks broke, in all fairness, PM Modi called up HRD minister Prakash Javadekar to convey his unhappiness. But that was about at all. This is one exam Modi has surely failed in.
WHY EXAM WAS NOT SPIKED DESPITE ALERT TO CBSE
Nine hours before the Class 10 math exam, the CBSE received a copy of the handwritten question paper by email. The Education Secretary explained on Friday why the exam was not scrapped. The e-mail had 12 attachments with handwritten question papers. The whistle blower claimed that the math paper was leaked on WhatsApp and urged the CBSE to cancel the paper.
“The mail came at 1.29 am on March 28 (early Wednesday) but the mail was seen at 8.55 am by the CBSE chairman. The paper was sent for verification. Just because there was an alert, we couldn’t have stopped the exam,” said the Education Secretary. The math exam began at 10 am and “could not practically be stopped”, said Anil Swarup.