The first combined BEd entrance test being conducted by Nalanda Open University (NOU)in Bihar is yet another example of certain district administrations enforcing bizarre measures to ‘check the use of unfair means’.
I cannot make up my mind whether it is tragic, funny, or plain stupid. Future teachers made to write their exams ‘bare-chested’!
At MLT College and Ramesh Jha College test centres in Saharsa district, 240km from Patna, male candidates were asked to take off their shirts to take the test. This is an entrance examination for people who want to become teachers! And when the military makes guys sit for an exam in their underwear, these same civilians make a hullabulloo!
Candidates who reached the centres wearing full shirt, shoes and socks were asked to remove those. A candidate at MLT College, on condition of ‘anonymity,’ was quoted by a local newspaper as saying, “When we reached the centre, we were not allowed to enter, as we had worn full shirts, shoes and socks. Many candidates like me were allowed to appear for the test only after removing these. Many candidates had to take their test bare-bodied”.
Stupid, isn’t it? If the guys were asked to take off their shirts, check that they aren’t hiding chits or missiles or whatever, then allow them to put their shirts back on, and maybe roll up their sleeves!
The candidate claimed that it was humiliating, there was no mention of dress code on the admit cards. Some of them protested, but to no avail.
Saharsa district magistrate Shailaza Sharma said: “The district administration had prepared for the test based on the guidelines issued by Nalanda Open University (examination conducting university). As per NOU guidelines and the booklet it issued, candidates were asked to come for examination wearing half-sleeve shirts and slippers.”
Some candidates from Saharsa claimed there was prior information about the dress code. Sonali, whose examination centre was at Magadh Mahila College, said that a day before the test, candidates got SMSes on the dress code.
Now, with all sorts of innovations, and the manufacture of clothing that can also become ‘internet and information friendly’, what other things these poor district collectors will have to think of! Who knows? A day will come when the guys, [who are always suspected of using unfair means, even though the girls are equally good at it] will have to hold a ‘naked protest’ like the chaps do in the northeast. Better still, they should just leave their clothes at home and go for the exams!
The bare fact is this, in some districts in Bihar, you may just have a strip search before you take your exams. As stop the systemic corruption and rot in the education system!
Priya Lahiri, Burdwan Compound, Ranchi