Lucknow: A teacher in a prestigious girls' school in Lucknow, recently, rubbed her eyes in disbelief as she was examining the answer papers of the Class 7 examinations and could not understand what the students had written.
Attempting the answers, a student wrote "Akbar d grt was known 4 his gnrost. He was a GOAT."
As the teacher went on to examine more copies, she was aghast to find that nearly a dozen students in the examinations were using similar SMS lingo.
"I was shocked to see the language that students had written. A large part of it was beyond my comprehension," she said.
As the teacher informed her colleagues and the principal, she found that students in other classes were also using the SMS 'lingo' too.
The principal, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told IANS that at least five schools -- three girls and two boys -- have reported a similar trend.
"At the parents-teacher meeting, when report cards were given out, we spoke to parents but shockingly, a majority of them seemed unaffected. They said that as long as their children had written the right facts, marks should not be deducted for the language," the principal said.
Shorthand notes during online classes
Akansha Chaudhary (name changed), one of the students found to be using SMS lingo in the exams, said, "There is a shortage of time and we have to race through the paper. Writing in text language is like writing in shorthand. I am sure even our teachers are familiar with the lingo because they use the phone."
The mother of another student said that daughter had stopped writing proper sentences during the online classes in the pandemic. "I noticed that she had started taking notes in SMS lingo and there was nothing I could do about it," she said.
The mother said that because of her daughter, she was even forced to learn a new language.
"My daughter called out to me one day and said, "Your dil wants to talk to you." I could not understand and then she explained that dil meant daughter-in-law and mil was mother-in-law," she said.
Lingo linked to social media
A teacher in a boys' school said that the trend was more pronounced in schools where students came from upper class and were exposed to social media.
"The generation that uses SMS language is unable to understand and apply grammar in their writing. The punctuation is deplorable and in the next five years -- if this trend continues -- you will have a generation that is unable to write proper English," he said.
Arvind Gupta, a student of Class 11, said, "I have taken the liberty of using words like bcuz, ASAP, and btwn in my class notes as it is easy for me to comprehend the subject in a better and faster manner. However, I do not want to risk offending any examiner so I try to avoid this in the examinations."
The heads of these schools admitted that there is strong resistance from parents if they deduct marks for this language.
"We have decided to convene a meeting of school heads next month to discuss the issue which is becoming increasingly worrisome. We will have to draw a line and convince parents too because we do not want the leaders of tomorrow to communicate in SMS lingo," said a principal.