Educational institutions around the country are faced with two extremely common problems; lack of basic infrastructure and the increase in the number of students enrolling in these institutions every year. To cater to these inclining numbers of students, most schools and colleges, especially state-run institutions, compromise on the quality of the facilities provided to these students. Such was the scenario during a Bihar students exam in Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav (RLSY) College in Bettiah on Sunday. Students at the college were forced to dire circumstances as a result of the institute’s shortfall.
Students appearing for the General Studies exam at the college were compelled to sit in the corridor, and open grounds within the campus of the college in order to write their papers. The college failed to provide the examinees with an examination hall that can accommodate a large number of students.
Dr Rajeshwar Prasad, examiner-in-charge of Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav College said that the college has a capacity of holding around two thousand students. This year, there were about five thousand students appearing for the exam from the college. The only possible solution to this problem, in Dr Prasad’s opinion, is the construction of an examination hall, big enough to hold a large number of students.
Sunday was no short of a nightmare for those appearing for the Bihar students exam and the faculty-in-charge of the exam taking place. Managing, monitoring and policing the examinees became a gargantuan task. The lack of uniformity that is generally found in an examination hall during an exam, resulted in students huddling around each other resulting in an increase in the scope for cheating amongst them. Along with this, Dr Prasad also complained that this situation was having a heavy impact on the students’ performance in the exam. Ineligible, bad handwriting influenced the quality of answers produced by the examinees.
A large number of reports have been filed with the examination authorities regarding the unfair schemes being practised during the exam. But the real question is; is it fair to blame the students? Exams are hard enough for students, cramming magnanimous syllabi, remembering important notes, worrying about finishing the exam on time etc. Situations such as these are completely beyond their own control. The least the exam centre can do is to provide comfortable seating arrangements or locations for the examinees. The main problem, however, lies in the fact that we need to be able to improve our crowd management skills.
As Dr Prasad repeatedly said, overcrowding was the root cause of the hindrance that followed on Sunday. The least the college authorities could have done is inform the governing body allotting exam centres for students, of the maximum capacity of students the college could host at a time. At the end of the day when the students’ results are affected, it’s not the authorities but the students who suffer due to the irresponsibility of the authorities concerned. These sectors need to be addressed, the sooner the better.