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RTE ACT | J&K SCERT under fire as DIETs fail to maintain question paper quality; students suffer

Srinagar, Mar 17: The Jammu and Kashmir State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has come under severe criticism as numerous District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) have failed to maintain the quality of examination papers, resulting in significant inconveniences for students.

The students complained that besides using poor paper quality for printing, the concerned DIETs had used very small fonts for question papers, causing inconveniences to them.

“We were not able to read the questions properly and had to take help from our teachers deputed for exam duty to read questions for us,” one of the students complained to Greater Kashmir.

The complaints poured mostly in from the school children whose schools fall under the jurisdiction of DIET Sopore.

The students said that they were subjected to immense mental stress during the exams while writing their Urdu question papers.

“We were surprised to see the minuscule font used for printing. It was disappointing to see such negligence on the part of the concerned authorities,” the students said.

A teacher from the Sopore area of the Baramulla district also complained that the font used for questions was not readable and caused a lot of inconvenience to the examinees.

“The basic reason was that the SCERT and DIETs have tried to accommodate all the questions on a single page to avoid more expenditure on the printing of the question papers,” the teacher said.
Besides Sopore, complaints were received from other areas about the inconveniences faced by the students during the exam.

Director SCERT Parikshit Singh Manhas also took cognisance of the issue during his visit to various class 8th exam centres in Srinagar.

During his visit to exam centres on Wednesday, Director SCERT also pointed out the issue of the small font used on the question paper.

“The Director SCERT sought an explanation from the concerned officials dealing with the printing of question papers and conduct of the exam,” an official said.

However, an official attributed it to the lack of funds available with DIETs and SCERT for holding exams post implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act in J&K under which every child is entitled to free and compulsory education up to elementary level.

“Earlier schools used to charge a minimum amount as printing charge from students which was later used for printing of question papers besides other exam related activities,” the teacher said. “Now the students are not charged any amount for exams or any other activities and there is no separate head available under which the funds can be utilised for exams.”

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Joint Director JK SCERT, Hem Raj Pakhroo said that the font size and the paper quality were good and were easily readable by students across the Jammu division.
“In case the students have faced any problem. We will take care of it,” Pakhroo said.

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