Row over OMR sheets for preparatory exams

Advertisement content of private PU college found

SSLC students and their parents, on Thursday, were surprised to see an advertisement content of a private pre-university college in the OMR sheets provided by the Education Department for the preparatory exams. The back page of OMR sheets carried an advertisement of a private PU college owned by a trust that belonged to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa’s family.

The department scheduled preparatory exams for SSLC students on Thursday and Saturday ahead of the annual exams to be held on July 19 and 21. In order to make students familiar with OMR sheets, the department conducted the preparatory exams. The procedure included the distribution of OMR sheets well in advance to over 22,000 students. The parents were asked to collect them from schools.

On the exam day, students get question papers on their mobile phones in pdf format at 10.30 a.m. They have to answer by marking on the OMR sheets. Soon after the exam, soft copies of the answer sheets should be sent to schools immediately and the physical copies by July 12. The first set of exams in mathematics, science and social science papers were held on Thursday.

H.C.Yogesh, Shivamogga City Corporation member and Congress leader, said “The OMR sheets carried a publicity material designed to attract students to a particular college. It carried details of courses it offered, the pass percentages secured in the previous years, besides contact numbers. The officers have misused the preparatory examination for circulating publicity content of a private college”. He also submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner K.B. Shivakumar in this regard.

When The Hindu contacted Deputy Director of Public Instructions N.M.Ramesh, he said following objections to the publicity material in the OMR sheets, he had instructed the officers to ensure students get revised OMR sheets with no advertisement content for the second set of preparatory exams scheduled for Saturday.

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