Himansu Shekhar Rout

With general elections a few months away, conducting the annual High School Certificate Examination (HSC), carrying out error-free evaluation and publishing results are a major concern for the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Odisha. 
HSC exams will commence on February 20 and the evaluation will begin on March 16. In the meantime, some teachers and employees may go for training for elections and be deployed on election duty. 

As only two weeks are left for the HSC examinations, the BSE authorities are on their toes. 

As per reports, 5,51, 611 candidates have applied for the HSC examinations this year. The exams will be held in 3,073 exam centres while 21 police stations have been made nodal centres. Evaluation will start from March 20 and be completed by March 30. 

Vice president of BSE, Nihar Ranjan Mohanty said, "We had planned to complete the examination and evaluation before the elections. Dates were fixed accordingly. If elections are held on time, training of teachers will be a problem. Those teachers may be absent. We will try to adjust that by extending the evaluation dates.”   

Educationist Satyakam Mishra said, “Teachers are not working under the BSE. The BSE can do nothing against the teachers. At best, the Board can debar them from examination duty. The Board should take their authorities into confidence to ensure that teachers come in handy for smooth conduct of the examinations.”        

The BSE also decided to hold the exams as per the old format: 50 percent marks for subjective questions and 50 percent marks for objective questions.

On the other hand, the BSE has adopted a new formula to check malpractice during the examinations. For the first time, it has been decided that the examinees will have to enter the exam halls one and a half hours before the exam time. Exams will start at 9 am and examinees will enter the exam halls by 7.30 am. 

Vice president of BSE, Nihar Ranjan Mohanty said, “The exams will start from 9 am and students will have to enter the exam centres at 7.30 am. And by 8.15 am, all examinees must have taken their seats.”   
However, the new system has caused resentment among students. 

Siddharth Mallick, a student said, "If students enter exam centres one and a half hours before, they will get bored. That time would have been better spent in studying."     

For the first time, observers will be deployed in all exam halls to monitor the arrival of question papers and submission of answer sheets. Block education officers and headmasters will be assigned this duty. No one will be allowed to take cell phones into exam halls.

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