(As told to Vikram Venkateswaran)
A total of nine lakh students studying in 11th and 12th class, appeared for the Intermediate examinations of the Telangana Board of Intermediate Education (TBIE) held between 27 February and 18 March. The results were declared on 19 April, at 5 pm.
Chaos ensued, when a number of bright students who had scored over 96% in the first year, failed in the second. Some students were awarded zero marks while others faced single digit scores. Globarena Technologies, the company hired by TBIE to deploy systems to conduct the exams/evaluations is being blamed for the lapses. The public is holding the botch-up responsible for 23 suicides.
Students and parents have been protesting, seeking re-evaluation, and action against those responsible for the lapses.
The Quint spoke to D Devendra, father of Priyanka, a student who had given her 12th (Intermediate second year) exams.
How much did your daughter score?
We checked the results online in the evening on 19 April. My daughter has scored 89%. She appeared for her Inter second year exams.
Why do you feel there is a discrepancy?
She scored 95% in her first year. Typically, first year marks are lower than second year marks, because the child makes a transition from school to college. There is a huge leap in difficulty in syllabus, much more pressure, etc. But during the second year, preparation is much easier as the student is accustomed to all this. So my daughter should have scored much higher than even 95%.
What do you think happened with the evaluation?
The media is now saying the same thing that we had heard. See, the problem is at three levels. First level is the evaluation. The examiners in-charge of checking the papers are usually given a maximum of 30 papers to evaluate per day. But this time, they were each given up to 55. How can they do justice? Second, there were problems with uploading the marks and other data into the system. A lot of students’ papers were also physically missing. Third, the data that was entered into the system was not reflecting on the website.
Will you be going in for re-evaluation?
Right now I am in two minds, sir. I can neither move forward, nor go back. The cost of re-evaluation is Rs 600. But there is no guarantee that it will happen in a transparent and correct manner. The court has ordered that re-evaluation should happen within 10 days of applying. That is impossible. Some have applied, some have not. I still don’t know what to do.
What is at stake here, for your daughter?
Typically, there are two options after Inter second year exams. Either to enter IITs, for which we prepare alongside the inter-exams. Or, apply to a good college in Delhi, like Miranda or Sriram College. We trained for IIT, and also thought of applying to Miranda. Now, both these prospects are not in the picture. Miranda’s cut-off percentage is 95%!
We were confident of scoring 97% at least, this time.
In terms of preparation, what did you have to do, for the exam?
You see, we prepared for this exam for 12 years. The last three years, we made every effort, as a family, to help Priyanka give her best. She goes to college, then to tuition and then to special classes. It’s 5 am to 9 pm of study each day. And I earn simply to afford this. After all the effort and sacrifices, to be faced with such a result is very depressing. So far, over 23 children have ended their lives because of this. So many students have scored zeroes and single digits! Not possible.
Who do you think is to blame for this?
The Telangana government, for sure. Why did they give the contract to Globarena, when the company was rejected by Andhra Pradesh government in the first place? Some people say the company is run by relatives of KCR’s son. And A Ashok, the secretary of TBIE is the IAS officer who is in-charge of all this. There is still no proper response from him. TV9 is showing a video where he is caught entering the office from a back door and exiting. What professionalism is this? How will they answer for the suicides of so many children?
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. ThoughThe Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)