Experts smell rat as matric exam absentees spark concern in Odisha

A particular problem arose during this year’s Class 10 summative-2 exams, which baffled many educators and academicians. As the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Odisha, offline exam started on April 29, thousands of candidates remained absent, raising concerns among educators.

Binapani Nodal High School in Ishwarpur village under Rajnagar block of Kendrapara has 170 candidates who had filled forms for class 10 exams but in reality only 139 students appeared for the exam and 31 students are absent .

Of the 31, OTV met the parents of two absentees, Chandrasekhar Mallik and Jasobanta Das. Speaking to OTV, the duo’s parents said, “Both have been working in Kerala since June 2021.”

The headmaster of the school, Khitish Patra, said: “The admission cards for these two students have been received by the school. As for the absentees, the DEO had ordered us to complete the forms of all students who had completed forms to appear for the summative-1 exams earlier.

This is just a tip of the iceberg. If one takes a look at some of the data obtained from some District Education Officers (DEOs), the extent of absentees this year will certainly baffle many.

Mayurbhanj district recorded 36,886 completed forms, of which 4,549 students are absent from the exam. Similarly, 3,316 pupils are absent out of 27,318 pupils in the Bolangir district. 1450 students are absent in Cuttack District out of 31,536 students.

So many absentees have forced informed pedagogues to sniff out the rat. Speaking to OTV, Academician Satyakam Mishra said, “If a student stays absent for a long period of time, he should not be allowed to complete the examination form. It smacks of conspiracy.

“More students means an increase in the grant to schools. It’s a master plan from the school management,” Mishra suspects.

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