The board exam for Class 10th in Assam began February 16, 2018, Friday across the state. The first exam was of English and on the very first day of the exam, the news of paper leak have been reported. Many students and parents have reported to the Board of Secondary Education Assam (SEBA) that the question paper of English has been circulated on WhatsApp.

It is reported that the paper was leaked an hour after the exam started. However, to this the Board officials said the question paper was released after the exam started and so there cannot have been any leak.

The officials have come up with a theory that since the students are allowed to leave the examination hall an hour after the exam. So, one of the students who would have come out of the hall must have circulated it on Whatsapp and the reports of paper leak are false. But how much truth is in this?

Issues in SEBA Class 10th exam were reported last year also. In 2017, two examination centres in Assam received social science and Assamese’s (MIL) question papers instead of General Mathematics paper. According to the news report, the mistake was detected by the centre in-charge while tearing the outer cover of question paper packets and it was immediately resealed and sent back to the police stations. But the media was somehow blamed for spreading the rumours of paper leak.

Investigations continue in SEBA Class 10 English Paper Leak

The question paper of English of SEBA exam 2018 was uploaded from a location in lower Assam’s South Salmara-Mankachar district bordering Bangladesh. However, this time the students are not backing out and the All Assam Students Union has demanded that an enquiry should be held into the alleged question paper leakage.

The first day of the SEBA Assam Exam 2018 not only received flak because of paper leak but for other reasons also. Despite holding the exam under the surveillance of CCTV cameras, at least 28 students were expelled. In Central Assam, one candidate was nabbed with a fake admit card as he was attempting to appear in the exam for another examinee. Similar incident was reported from Cachar district.

In another incident  two exam invigilators were caught by exam authorities for using mobile phones in prohibited exam zones in lower Assam. However, the SEBA authorities are yet to take action against them.

Is the fear of exam this much that the students have to take such a wrong way? Assam is not the only state with case of paper leak in 2018. In Bihar Class 12th Board exam, around 1000 students were expelled for cheating.

While in Uttar Pradesh, around 10 lakh students dropped out for the Board exam in just four days, because the school had strict surveillance.

Can we improve the quality of education in India? Of course, we can; by keeping tests as tests only and not the case of life and death. Maybe we have given so much importance to these tests that the quality of education doesn’t even matter now. If you score well, you get a good job. We need to change this mindset. We need talented students, not the students who are afraid of losing or failing. The teachers and parents can play a big part in this.

Create an environment for the students in which they not only study but also learn. Guide them to not to lose hope if they fail and keep trying and give their best.