Published: 02nd April 2019
Why 25,000 'ghost' students in Bengaluru registered for SSLC exam but didn't turn up
School management representatives are of the opinion that some private schools do not issue hall tickets to low performers and weaker students
Around 25,000 students, who had signed up for the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) exams but did not appear for them, should be tracked down and asked the reason for being absent, school management representatives have said recently.
The exams, which began on March 21, will end on April 4 and officials suspect that most of the missing students have not been allowed to attend the exams as they were not given hall tickets by their schools. Examinations for five subjects have been completed so far, which include main papers like mathematics, first and second languages and science. An official from the Department of Public Instruction, on condition of anonymity said, “A major reason is because some private schools deny admission tickets to candidates who are identified as low performers as it would impact their overall results.” These kind of unwilling absentees form the major chunk of missing students, according to the official. Bangalore South and Kalaburagi topped the list of districts with the most absentees, with 2,224 and 1,800 students not showing up for the exams respectively.
“We have observed these cases in the past as well. If the school feels that the student might not clear the exams, they are not given hall tickets. However, if they don’t come forward and complain, we cannot act on the same,” the official said. Another reason for the large number of absentees according to officials is the efforts by some schools to submit inflated lists with the names of fake students in order to get their school chosen as an examination centre or to attract government grants. “Such cases are less common but we have come across such schools which produce fake candidates,” the official said.
This practise, while prevalent in the past, has reduced in recent times according to D Shashi Kumar, General Secretary of the Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka. “It is a question of survival for aided schools and so they show fake students. If a school has less than 25 students, they do not get government grants,” he explained. However, the practise of linking students with their Aadhar card has curbed this practise, according to Kumar. "Now it is difficult to enroll fake candidates but in case of enrolments in previous years, the data will continue to show the fake enrolments as students,” he said.
The association has even demanded that the authorities identify such schools and issue notices to them. “The schools which deny hall tickets for low performers are negligible. The department must track down these missing students and seek an explanation from them,” Kumar said. Last year, 1.4 lakh fake enrolments were identified during the SSLC exams. When officials of the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) were contacted, they said it was the responsibility of the Deputy Directors of Public Instructions of each district to analyse this.