Punjab govt school students resort to widespread cheating, make mockery of online exams

Teachers concerned as students copy from textbooks and guides before uploading answer sheets, say some completed exam within 15 minutes of releasing question paper

Patiala: Students from primary to higher secondary classes of Punjab government schools are resorting to widespread cheating during the ongoing online examination, raising questions about the efficacy of such assessments during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The students across government schools in Punjab were provided online study material followed by bi-monthly exams that began from July 13. It has been found that most children are using unfair means to attempt the examination.

Teachers say most students have answered word for word as mentioned in help books. “The students did not adhere to repeated instructions and appeals by teachers to attempt exams with fair means. In most cases, the teachers received fully attempted answer sheets within 15 minutes of releasing the question papers,” said a government teacher, requesting anonymity.

The students were provided question papers of 20 marks each on official WhatsApp groups. They had to upload the answer sheets in the same group.


Vikram Dev, a government school teacher, who is also a member of the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), said, “This is a faulty process that makes students bank on unfair means to clear an examination. These can’t be called exams, rather they should be termed assignments. What is the point of holding such exams when students have a free hand to copy from guides and textbooks?” he said.

“The online education method can only be used as a teaching aid. It is not possible for teachers to ensure decorum among students virtually,” he said.

Another teacher said his colleagues were receiving answers-sheets with the cheating material also visible in the photos uploaded by students.

“Parents are equally at fault as they have failed to keep check on their wards. Teachers will have no option than to make marking of answer-sheets stricter,” another teacher said.


Education secretary Krishan Kumar said the purpose of providing online study material and conducting exams was to keep students involved with studies.

“Teachers are well aware of their students’ performance so they can easily identify those who attempted the exams with unfair means. The teachers have been directed to follow strictness while giving scores,” he said.

He said that these exams are meant to assess the actual performance of the students so that the teachers can work on their weak areas.

“The teachers had also sent messages to parents to ensure that the children attempted the exams through fair means,” Kumar said.