High Court comes to rescue of “failed” tenth grader

Exam board tried to pass off someone else’s papers as hers

Patna: A school girl in Bihar showed unusual grit and determination when the eastern Indian state’s school board failed her in matriculation examination this year.

Priyanka Singh from north Bihar’s Saharsa district even offered to deposit 40,000 rupees the Patna High Court demanded to take up her case. The apex court warned her that she would forfeit the amount if her case was proved frivolous.

The court later found out that the board had passed off someone else’s papers as hers. It then ordered the Bihar school education board to pay 500,000 rupees to her.

Singh’s travails started when the tenth grade results were declared earlier this year. The board had failed the girl in science and Sanskrit. According to the board she scored only 29 for science and 4 for Sanskrit. The minimum pass mark is 35.

Singh, a student of a government-run DD High School, suspected a mistake and quickly applied for revaluation. The revaluation result also failed her. Her marks in the Sanskrit paper rose from 4 to 9, but in the science paper it came down from 29 to 7.

The girl then decided to approach the Patna High Court.

The court wasn’t too sure if she had a case and hence asked her for the deposit, which she did immediately.

The court noted that the handwriting on the answer sheet did not match with hers and demanded the board to produce the actual answer sheet.

Once that was done and the girl was awarded 80 marks in science and 61 in Sanskrit.

The court also awarded her 500,000 rupees in compensation and told the education board to order an inquiry into the entire case.

Bihar made international headlines in 2015 when parents and friends were seen scaling the walls of examination centers to pass cheat sheets to students taking their board exam. Last year, the state was reduced to splotchy blushes after it turned out that toppers in 12th grade had in fact hired others to impersonate them.

But thousands of class 12 students hit the streets in Patna to protest after the school board failed 65 per cent of students this year. The state government had attributed the high failure rate to curbs on cheating through use of answer sheets that have bar codes on them as a new security feature.

In Priyanka Singh’s case, the school board officials had explained the mix-up in her marks to an error due to the bar coding of answer sheets. (Source: ndtv.com)

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