mid-day editorial: School authorities have a lot to answer for

This paper has been following a rather shocking act of theft, in which over 500 answer papers of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination were stolen from a school in Dahisar. According to the reports, a person posed as a scrap dealer and stole unchecked answer sheets of history, science and Sanskrit papers from the principal's cabin. Adding to the chaos, the school is not under CCTV surveillance.

While it's still unclear how many students have been affected, the fate of many students hangs in a limbo.

Our education system keeps students on tenterhooks. Wrongful evaluations, teachers agitations during exam time, confusion over exam centres are just a few of the frequently reported incidents that add to the dismal picture. Add to this frame a rise in "donations" for admissions, preferential treatment while allotting seats and other biases that seem to rule in the echelons of higher education, and you know that the education system requires an overhaul.

The theft of the answer sheets reveals the fact that these papers are not stored safely under lock and key. It's a shocking lapse on the school's part if a scrap dealer can enter a principal's cabin in the absence of any other department official, and also manage to take documents from the office without anybody noticing.

The need for CCTV surveillance and superior security facilities in educational institutions is also indispensable. However, the matter that requires immediate attention is how the affected students would be marked. The school authorities must assure them of a fair solution to the issue. Let the students know in clear terms about the next course of action. The authorities should refrain from hiding behind vague answers or outright lies. The young minds should not suffer due to the inefficiency of a few.

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