Images of students blatantly cheating in Class 10 exams in Bihar drew international ridicule, with photos of men clambering up the walls of an exam centre making it to foreign newspapers. The adults were relatives of the teens taking state board exams; they passed cheat-sheets to the students threw windows under the noses of supervisors.
“Should we shoot them?” asked Prashant Kumar Shahi, Bihar’s education minister, addressing a news conference after television news channels aired the incriminating photo and raked up the scandal.
Now, former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav has offered his own and, as always, unique take on the controversy. “When you go elsewhere, no one will believe your degrees. If you can’t clear exams, why don’t you just fail them and retake them till you pass?” asked Mr Yadav today.
“The current government says it can’t control cheating… (during my time as Chief Minister) I used to hand out books to everyone and said ‘fine, write from the books.’ Do you think they managed? They kept on writing and three hours passed by and most of them failed anyway,” Mr Yadav added, his point, presumably being that it doesn’t pay to cheat.
The Class 10 exams held by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) are viewed as make-or-break tests that will determine the college admissions and professional careers of more than 1.4 million students who are taking the tests this week, crammed into 1,217 examination centres in Bihar.
Attempts to chase away family members lurking outside test centres on Thursday backfired, with stone-pelting mobs forcing police to beat a retreat.