Anxious, angry and aghast are the apt adjectives to describe the mood of students in Telangana right now. Over the last one week, 19 students studying Intermediate (Class 11 and 12) committed suicide allegedly upset that they couldn't achieve the desired results in their exams. Never before in the recent past have so many students succumbed to this extreme step after the formation of Telangana State.
What's worse? There is a lurking fear more unpleasant news. Of 9 lakh plus students who wrote the Intermediate exams this year, over 3 lakh students were found to have failed the exams. This is unprecedented. It became quite obvious that something was wrong and to everyone's shock, it came to light that there were technical glitches in the software used by the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE).
The discrepancies ranged from marking students as ‘absent’ or ‘fail,’ even though they had cleared the exams, to the printing of wrong subject name on the student’s mark sheet. Based on the complaints by parents and student unions, the TSBIE formed a three-member team to find the root causes behind the goof up. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao ordered a free re-evaluation of papers for those who failed in the exams.
Amidst all this drama, the minister in charge of education in the state, G Jagadish Reddy, is grabbing the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
When parents are in turmoil, Jagadish has been busy campaigning for his TRS party for the upcoming ZPTC and MPTC elections scheduled on May 6. Parents and student organisations, who are protesting across the state, are questioning why the education minister is not inclined to discharge his duties at the time of crises.
Opposition parties in the state BJP and the Congress submitted a representation to Governor ESL Narasimhan for the minister's resignation but Reddy hit back saying the opposition is only politicising the issue.
Amidst the imbroglio, the parents are worried as students are preparing for other competitive exams. The state government has promised that the new mark list would be issued by May 15.