Exams in India are viewed as vitally important. So vitally important in fact, that students and parents are willing to risk lives and expulsion to do well. The reason for this, is that impoverished people in India see these exams as a chance to radically change their lives for the better and rise out of the poverty they’ve known for so long.
On Mar. 18 and Mar. 19, friends, parents and other relatives of tenth graders of Bihar, India were caught climbing the sides of exam centers trying to reach the students taking the exams. These people were doing so in hopes of passing on cheat sheets with the answers on them to the students. Police officers stationed outside of the school were allegedly paid to look the other way while people were scaling the walls.
“When I heard about [the cheating scandal] I just laughed, cheaters are getting crafty these days,” junior Noah Coughlin said. “It’s creative but sad.”
Many of the tenth graders caught cheating had also smuggled textbooks and scraps of paper according to police and education officials. This event brings up the question: Why are such extreme measures necessary?
“These kids were taking their 10th grade board exams which would determine their future to further their education so it was equal to the ACT here in the US so I can understand the pressure,” junior Vrushangi Shah said. “It is sad that students think the only way they will do good is through cheating and I think this has a lot to do with how they are treated. Parents in India put a lot of pressure on their children to do well, because they know just like their child there are hundreds of other kids just as smart and capable.”
At least 300 people were arrested and up to 700 students total have been expelled for the cheating scandal. Several policemen were also taken into custody for dereliction of duty. The students who participated as well as the adults will be punished accordingly as to preempt and prevent any instances such as this from occurring again.
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