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Actual Score 99, Student Given 0: How Telangana Intermediate Results Turned Into A Fiasco

Hundreds of students and parents took to streets last week to protest the discrepancies in the evaluation process which led to several of the students being declared as ‘fail’.

Rishika Sadam | CNN-News18

Updated:April 28, 2019, 5:28 PM IST
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Actual Score 99, Student Given 0: How Telangana Intermediate Results Turned Into A Fiasco
Protesters in front of the Telangana intermediate board office following discrepancies in exam results that led to student suicides.

Hyderabad: As many as 21 students have committed suicide in Telangana since the results for Intermediate were declared on April 18.

Hundreds of students and parents took to streets last week to protest the discrepancies in the evaluation process as over 3 lakh students ‘failed’ in the exams.

They have been alleging that the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) and Globearena Technologies Pvt Ltd, a firm hired by the board to handle the admission and examination process, have committed blunders in the result declaration.

“In first year, my son topped the exams, but now his marks are in single digits. I don’t know what to do. I have assured him that everything will be sorted out. But what if he too harms himself?” an emotional parent told News18 while showing his marks sheet.

It is yet not clear how many of the students have committed suicide over the discrepancies in the results.

A probe committee formed by the Telangana government has admitted to ‘errors’ in the process. The committee’s report said there has been an overall lapse. The report pointed at major technical issues and a few human errors.

“There have been errors in the process. Action will be taken against the erring board officials as well as the private company,” said Telangana’s education secretary Janardhan Reddy.

However, the committee pointed out that only a minor percentage of students were affected due to the errors. It had also submitted a suggestions for the private company which handled the result.

The private company, Globearena, will continue to work with the board for ‘re-verification’ process of the lakhs of students who were declared unqualified in the result.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has ordered the revaluation of the papers to be done free of cost.

Of the nine lakh students who’d appeared for the Intermediate-level examinations, about 3 lakh of them failed this year, dipping the pass percentage by two percent compared to last year.

Several students complained that they received single digit marks or zeroes. In a few cases, students who had cleared their first year previously have now been declared fail when combined with the second year results.

A few students were marked absent despite having appeared for the exam. The most famous case was that of Gajja Navya, a student from Karimalla Junior College. She was declared ‘fail’ with zero marks in second year Telugu exam, and this despite securing 98 in the same subject in the first year.

After re-verification, it was found that the student actually received 99 marks but was entered wrong as ‘zeroes’ in the final sheet. The board had admitted previously that this was a human error.

“There needs to be transparency in the entire process. It is not doubt that major blunders have been done in results this time. But why are authorities maintaining the secrecy? The question is about credibility. We do not know the magnitude of the errors. If there is nothing major, what is the need to hide so much? The errors should not just be looked at by an internal committee, but give access to experts in the field,” Prof Nageshwar Rao, an analyst, told media.

For about 496 students, “AP” (absent and present) was displayed instead of marks, Education Secretary Janardhan Reddy said after looking at the committee report.

For a few “AF” (absent and fail) was displayed, despite appearing for the exams. For more than 4,200 Economics students, single digit marks were displayed in the sheet.

The report said that there were errors in the circling of the Optical Mark Recognition sheets.

Opposition parties and students demanded the resignation of state Education Minister Jagadish Reddy. Telangana Congress had also pointed out that the private company Globearena is inexperienced. They demanded that the chief minister should grant an ex-gratia of 25 lakh rupees to the families of the deceased.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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