Pine Mount students suffer answer sheet goof

SHILLONG: Pine Mount school courted controversy again when the principal failed to make necessary requisition for answer scripts for the students to write their Physics practical examination on Tuesday.
Sources told The Shillong Times that there were no answer scripts for the students to write on.
“The answer scripts which come from the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations are personalised. These are computerised sheets which contain the photos, IDs and bio-data of the students. The children only have to sign there,” the source said.
The students are appearing for their final ISC examination.
It was later learnt that the principal did not place an order from the council for the answer sheets. However, the principal maintained that she had placed an order but the printing press did not send from Delhi.
“The council said it is a lie as she did not place an order at all. Now what will our children write on as practical and theory papers, the answer sheets are different for both,” a source said.
At the end of the examination, the principal “magically” came out with the answer scripts and blamed the supervising examiner for the disruption. Many thought that the answer scripts were procured from Loreto Convent but later it was learnt that there were instructions not to do that.
“The answers scripts which were found later were for the practical papers and they did not come from Loreto Convent,” the source said.
The source added that the three practical papers for Chemistry, Biology and Bio-Tech will be done on practical answer scripts.
How the answer scripts appeared after the examination is a mystery as before the commencement of the examination, they were not there as the students had to write on theory papers on Tuesday.
On the other hand, the government of Meghalaya, office of the Pine Mount School, Shillong issued a press statement on the same day terming the incident as “rumours”.
The principal asserted that “all concerned are requested to abstain from spreading rumours and falling prey to rumours being spread”. The statement also said the examinations are being conducted smoothly.
It may be mentioned that the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson, Meena Kharkongor, exposed various anomalies in the functioning of the premier institution in the state.
There were problems such as poor functioning of the boarding as the children are deprived of safe water, proper environment and nutritious food, there was no counsellor, visiting doctor or nurses to address the needs of the boarders in time of emergency.
Parents have been complaining privately but there has not been any concerted action on their part to take this matter to the authorities concerned despite the downward slide of the school for a while now.
Sources close to the school have said the principal has been reporting sick for a long time now and that she has not attended office since October 2018.
“How long can we put up with this dereliction of duty by the head of the institution and why is the government allowing this to happen at the cost of the students? Is the school not set up for the students? Then why should so many concessions be made for one person who evidently is not in the best of health and inept at administration,” they said.
Teachers spoken to say they are completely demoralised by what is happening in the school. “The principal today threatened that the police would come in and interrogate all of us to find out who leaked out information about the mess regarding the answer sheets to the media, but it is high time we too stand up for the rights of the students for quality education which is what Pine Mount has stood for all these years. Now it is the students who are bearing the brunt of this mal-administration,” the teachers said.

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