It is a sad reality that the reports of exam paper leakage are nothing new to the people nowadays.
After almost every major exam, you get to hear either rumors or confirmed news that the papers have been leaked. An attempt at probing into the roots of the problem brings up more than one pertinent issue to the forefront. Such issues range from the problems within the educational system to massive job shortages. Some of those related concerns have been discussed as below.
The recent history of leaks and scams in Education
The paper leak in the CBSE economics and math exams of class 12 and ten respectively is one of the most recent cases that again brought to light the terrible situation. The incident caused quite uproar as thousands of students geared up to give a retest for those subjects. The police questioned over sixty people including the admins of many WhatsApp groups to get to the bottom of the case. Investigations are still on, and the police are yet to come to a conclusion.
A similar situation occurred in Chandigarh where the question papers for the recruitment of junior basic teachers were leaked. Sanjay Srivastav, Shailesh Kumar, Dinesh Yadav, and Shiv Bahadur were the prime accused in the matter, and there were arrested after a detailed investigation. These names also came up in relation to the Vyapam scam that shook the nation in its severity and graveness. In February this year, over 1000 students were expelled in Bihar for cheating in the exams pointing out an elaborate and organized system of cheating.
Even SSC exams are not spared of such misdeeds. After much furore and agitations surrounding an exam paper leak, the Supreme Court of India has asked the CBI to intervene and take the investigation further.
Examination and result oriented system
One of the prime causes behind these leaks and scams in the examinations happens to be the glaring defects in the approach to education in the country. In India, regardless of the states or districts, the emphasis lies solely on the marks that one can fetch. Whether the student has actually learned something in class or he/she will be able to put the knowledge to work in future are the matters that take a backseat. The whole point of educations seems to be directed towards getting remarkable results in the examinations. The parents and the students are ready to go to any extent to ensure that the pass percentage, sometimes even the highest percentage, is effectively secured.
The negativity surrounding the education system is frightening, to say the least. This result-oriented approach leads to students going for multiple tuitions, practice classes, mock tests, and the likes. And when all else fails, cheating and copying are embraced by the students as the last resort of hope to sail through.
A severe shortage of jobs and worrying future
In terms of exam scams, lack of jobs is a common concern in the country that comes to light. Unemployment is a problem that the country has been facing for years now. As the number of educated youths increases, every year so does the percent of unemployed thereby compounding an already existing problem. International Labor Organization stated in its ‘World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2018’ that the rate of unemployment will stand at 3.5 percent in 2018-19. This is the similar percentage to 2016-17 which proves that there has been no improvement in the situation.
The focus on the percentage of marks rather than the skills have led to a disturbing situation. The jobseekers nowadays come with a high percentage of marks but in most cases they lack the necessary skills to join the workforce. Thus, multiple degrees with high percentages all become fruitless when they are unable to serve the purpose when making an impression on the employer. The employers do not trust the marks any more in recruiting new candidates and a majority of the candidates fail to show their skills in the recruitment process.
Need for reform in the educational system
The dedicated efforts by the government authorities have improved the rate of enrollment in schools. However, school completion rates and real learning outcomes remain alarmingly low. A reform in the education will be the first step towards curbing the menace of scams and leaks. The students are the ones paying the hefty price of the faulty educational structure. It is high time now to change the focus of education from ‘marks' and ‘examinations' to the actual acquirement of knowledge. The following are some of the widely agreed changes need in the educational system of the country.
Things to be included in the new model
It is important to lay emphasis on vocational training in the schools so that the students get to look for other avenues of employment even if they lack in percentage. There is a severe lack of focus on skill-based training. Putting all of the focus on textbooks and memorizing can never tap the inherent abilities of a student.
The reforms should also extend to the pattern of question paper, and there needs to be more importance given to application based questions rather than theory based questions. There is a lesser chance of cheating in such questions, and it also lets the candidate think in place. The schools and the parents need to be more vigilant in terms of protecting the wards from falling prey to such malpractices. The major exam centers need to have better security systems in place in the form of CCTV cameras and police protection.
The aim of education is to shape the future of the nation through the dedicated efforts of the young minds. When the educational system reaches an all-time low due to rampant scams and leaks, it amounts to jeopardizing the development of the nation. Thus, it is essential to take note of the current situation and act on it at the earliest. The need is to get to the root of the problem and nip it in the bud. Hopefully, one day the country will be able to overcome all the hurdles in its path to progress.