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Mrunal Manmay Dash

A peculiar problem cropped up during this year’s class 10 Summative-2 exams which baffled many educationists and academicians. As the off-line exam of the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Odisha, began on April 29, thousands of examinees remained absent raising concern among educationists.

Binapani Nodal High school in Ishwarpur village under Kendrapara’s Rajnagar block has 170 examinees who had filled up forms for the class 10 exams but in reality, only 139 students have appeared for the exam and 31 students are absent.

Out of the 31, OTV met the parents of two absentees, Chandrasekhar Mallik and Jasobanta Das. Speaking to OTV, the parents of the duo said, “Both of them are working in Kerala since June 2021.”

The Head Master of the school, Khitish Patra said, “Admit cards of both these students have been received by the school. As far as the absentees are concerned, the DEO had ordered us to fill up forms of all the students who had filled up forms to appear in the summative-1 exams earlier.”

This is just a tip of the iceberg. If one takes a peek into some of the data obtained from some District Education Officers (DEOs), the magnitude of absentees this year will baffle a lot for sure.

Mayurbhanj district recorded 36,886 form fill ups, out of which 4549 students are absent from the exam. Similarly, 3316 students are absent out of 27,318 students in Bolangir district. 1450 students are absent in Cuttack district out of 31,536 students.

So many absentees have forced the educationists who are in the know of things to smell rat. Speaking to OTV, Academician Satyakam Mishra said, “If a student is remaining absent for a long period then he should not be allowed to fill up the examination form. This smells of a conspiracy.”

“More students means an increased grant to schools. This is a masterplan by the school management,” Mishra suspected.

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