Class 12 HSC Exams: Will Board's 'flying squads' be proactive?

Instead of senior teachers, the board plans to appoint local education officers as members of the squads, to keep a tab on cheating cases

The Class XII board examination is scheduled to start on February 28
The Class XII board examination is scheduled to start on February 28

With the Class XII state board examination just a day away, confusion prevails over the matter whether the authorities concerned would be able to keep a tab on cheating during the examination. Instead of senior teachers, the board plans to appoint local education officers as members of the 'flying squads', which would pay surprise visits to examination centers to check cheating cases. However, the question remains whether these squads would be as proactive as the previous ones.

No committees in place
According to sources, the state board committees comprising teachers, who were also part of the flying squads, were dissolved long back. Till date there has been no decision on forming them again. As part of the system, which was introduced a couple of years ago, the flying squads used to visit exam centers to catch students cheating. The idea was to catch them unawares as the squads never informed about their visits. Another objective was also to have unbiased members, who would come from across the divisions.

Biased or unbiased?
"Since the board committees were dissolved, new ones have not been formed. The board itself has no manpower to double up as flying squads. This is why it is taking help from local education officers to form them. But whether they will be unbiased or not, remains a question," said Uday Nare, former board committee member.

He further said, "Flying squads usually visit the sensitive examination centers, which have recorded cheating cases earlier. Board committee members have the power to visit examination centers individually to ensure transparency in the examination process."

No guarantee?
Commenting on the matter, a former committee member said, "The visits conducted by board committee members are unbiased as they are selected from across the division. But if local education officers do the job, then transparency cannot be guaranteed as it will involve the reputation of the local schools."

All's well

Chairman of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Gangadhar Mamhane said, "The system is functioning the way it used to. This time flying squads will comprise deputy directors, directors and education inspectors among all. They will also be given a list sensitive exam centers."

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