Bihar students go on strike over Class 12 mass failure
Patna, June 8 (IANS) Train and road services were hit in Bihar on Thursday as student organisations affiliated to the Left parties went on strike to protest the large-scale failure of Class 12 students in the state board exams.
"Hundreds of students with flags and banners in their hands forcibly stopped trains in Ara, Patna, Vaishali, Begusarai, Jehanabad and Gaya districts," a police officer said.
Road traffic was also disrupted at several places as the agitating students blocked national and state highways, the officer said.
The strike, supported by the Communist Party of India, comes 10 days after over eight lakh students failed in the Class 12 exams conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB).
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has assured that the failed students could apply online for re-evaluation or verification of their answer sheets.
These results would be out within a month. He has also promised that the BSEB will hold compartmental exams soon.
In a repeat of the 2016 events, the BSEB on June 2 cancelled the results of Ganesh Kumar, the Class 12 topper in Arts and arrested him for committing forgery among other charges.
The students agitation entered its eighth day as thousands of Class 12 students who have failed in their exams continued their protest here on Thursday demanding re-checking of their answer sheets and action against top officials, police said.
The average pass percentage of students of Science, Arts and Commerce streams was 35.24 per cent in 2017 as only 4,47,115 students passed of the total 12,40,168 who appeared in the exams.
This was after the authorities implemented strict measures against cheating.
In 2016, the total pass percentage was 62.19 per cent. It stood at 87.45 per cent in 2015, 88.04 per cent in 2013 and 90.74 per cent in 2012.
A senior BSEB official said the drastic fall in pass percentage vindicated their strict efforts to conduct cheating-free examinations.
In 2017, CCTV cameras were installed at entrances of the examination halls and videography was conducted throughout the duration of the exams.
The use of all communication gadgets, including mobile phones, inside the examination halls was prohibited.
Mass cheating in board exams has been rampant in Bihar for years.