Karnataka: It’s chaos on first day of SSLC exam

Bengaluru: The first day of the SSLC exam on Friday was chaotic as many untoward incidents were reported from across the state. 

Official suspended at Chikkodi
In Chikkodi taluk of Belagavi, exam officials who were transporting question papers from the treasury to the examination gave a lift to a candidate. The exam official realised it was a serious security breach only when other parents at the centre raised their concern. The official, Kallappa Basappa Gumthaz, a drawing teacher from Government High School in Shivanur, was suspended after a case was registered against him by the local police.

Police absent at some exam centres
Exam centres at Abbigere and Chikkabanavara failed to deploy enough police force at the gates even when the exam began at 9.30 am. 

"Anyone could easily get into the centres, if not for the basic security check done by exam officials, who were also new to the place, just like the parents who came to drop their wards. With randomisation in place and especially being the first day, the police force should have been in place as per the Karnataka State Secure Exam Action System," said D. Shashikumar, general secretary of the Karnataka Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools (KAMS), who visited the centres in the area on Friday morning.

Rumours of question paper leak in social media
The Kannada first language question paper was circulated widely on WhatsApp and in some Facebook groups across the state by 11 am. 

The picture of the paper which was reportedly clicked at a farm in Vijayapura created tension among parents and teachers, though it was made mandatory that no student should leave the exam hall till 12.30 pm with the question paper. An education department official said that an inquiry has begun and stringent measures have been taken to avoid this in the next exams.

Wrong question paper distributed, candidates lose time
Candidates who were attending the old scheme exam received new scheme question papers and vice-versa resulting in students losing time. Karnataka State Education Examination Board (KSEEB) Director V. Sumangala said that the affected students were given extra time after the scheduled time to compensate for the loss. "Even after proper training and repeated briefing sessions to invigilators and exam squads, such instances happen due to sheer negligence. It is the responsibility of the custodian and the exam centre chief to review the papers before the seal is removed. Strict action will be taken against officials at centres from where such issues were reported," she said. Candidates who took the exam at Priyadarshini Vidya Kendra, Kengeri alleged that they weren't given any extra time.

Ms Sumangala said that KSEEB has nothing to do with five students missing out on the exam at Chamarajanagar due to the wrong address of the centre printed on their hall tickets. "Hall tickets were uploaded on February 9 and a good number of chances had been given to the concerned headmasters to rectify the errors. 

The head master of the centre failed to notify the board as the centre got shifted to another location, even though he advertised it in local papers," she explained.
Nine students from across the state were debarred for allegedly indulging in malpractices during the exam on Friday. 26,799 of more than 8.5 lakh candidates were absent for the first language examination. Students will appear for mathematics paper next on March 26 (Monday).

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