A year after mass cheating in Bihar's schools captured international attention, stricter protocols for conducting exams in the state seem to have had a direct impact on students' results. According to reports, less than half students who gave the class 10 exams in the state have managed to pass.
"The results are not as expected," state education minister Ashok Choudhary told journalists. "But, they show the actual merit of students. Those who have passed will be able to clear competitive exams."
Around 15.47 lakh students (more than 1.5 million) appeared for the centrally-administered exams this year. While more than half of them failed, which is a drop of more than 28 percent from last year, only 10.86 percent managed to get first division marks, reported The Times of India. Last year, more than a fifth of the students had passed with first division marks in Bihar.
In this photograph taken on 19 March, 2015, Indian relatives of students taking school exams climb the walls of the exam building to help pass candidates answers to questions in Vaishali in the eastern state of Bihar.
Results indicate that the students who have done well in Bihar are concentrated in only a few good schools, and that the majority of schools in Bihar continue to have very poor results.
Bihar had made international headlines last year when parents of students giving the class 10 exams scaled the school building walls to pass them answers to questions in the exam. At the time, the state education minister PK Shahi had said, "Over 14 lakh students are taking the examination. You tell us what can the government do to stop cheating id parents and relatives are not ready to cooperate? Should the government give orders to shoot them?"
Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav too had made some bizarre suggestions on the matter, claiming that even if students copied directly from the school books, they would still fail. More than three-quarters of the students managed to pass these exams last year. This year's poor showing is a fallout of the state administration's cracking down on cheating, according to officials.
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