After capturing the footage of nearly 60,000 exam centres, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) is in the process of screening it from the surveillance cameras and tablets, spanning nearly 2.3 lakh hours.
During the hearing, board officials recount that most students and parents deny having cheated, but some parents took a tough stand on the child.
“There was a case where a farmer from a small village who had sold off his livestock to pay the fees for his son who wanted to graduate in Science from a private high school. When he saw the footage showing his son cheating in the Class XII board exams, he started beating him and would have beaten him to death had the committee not intervened,” shared one of the examination committee members.
After all this processing, where the board deployed cameras and tablets in 35,000 Class X exam centres and over 24,000 Class XII centres, generating over 76,000 CDs of footage it turned out that only 3,040 copying cases were detected from across the state.
The data compiled by the GSHSEB, showed that several districts reflected zero cheating cases while some showed as low as two, raising questions on the effectiveness of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and tablets. The board, suspecting foul play, has planned to randomly re-examine the CDs of the “suspect” districts reporting low cases.
“We have called the concerned district education officers (DEOs) where there is the lowest copy cases detection to be present at the board office along with the entire recorded data. The board examination committee will randomly re-examine the same in their presence,” confirmed the deputy director (examinations) V R Gosai.
The onus of viewing CDs collected from each examination centre under respective districts is with the DEOs who then constituted teams (including engineering students) and gave this task to each of these teams. After evaluation, the numbers detected from each district is submitted to the GSHSEB along with the supporting proof.
The districts of Botad, Dangs and Gir-Somnath did not report a single case while Kutch and Rajkot reported only two cases each. The sources revealed that notices have already been issued to the DEOs of these districts to come along with the footage which would be viewed by the examination committee in their presence.
The highest number of copying cases based on the footage was registered in Bhavnagar at 368, followed by Valsad (338), Kheda (319), Amreli (229) and Banaskantha (201).
With over 90 per cent of the monitoring process of the CDs completed, the highest number of copy cases has been detected from Class XII general stream that has recorded over 1,500 cases, followed by Class X where 1,262 students have been found copying.
The traditional physical vigilance squads have detected over 1,000 copying cases during the board examinations revealing a drastic increase in the cases from 135 in the year 2014 (when only 1,300 tablets were installed across the state on a trial basis). This is despite the number of squads reduced drastically from 400 in 2014 to 78 in 2015.
The footage analysis is expected to be completed in first week of May after which the board will announce the results. The detection of these cases is to be followed by the hearing process by the board examination committee. By May 25, Class XII Science results are likely to be declared followed by May 30 for Class XII General stream and June 2 for Class X. However, the results of candidates against whom cheating cases are pending will be held back.