Today in India: Parents in trouble for scaling school walls to help students cheat

CBS – About 600 high school students in eastern India have been expelled for cheating on pressure-packed 10th grade examinations this week, education authorities said Friday.

The incident has received widespread attention after Indian television footage showed parents and friends of students scaling the outer walls of school buildings to pass cheat sheets to students inside taking exams.

The Washington Post reported that photos and videos showing people scaling the school walls went viral in India on Thursday.

More than 1.4 million 10th graders are taking the tests at more than 1,200 high schools across the state. They face tremendous pressure because they must pass the exams to continue their education.

Teachers and state education department officials supervising the examination caught hundreds of students who had smuggled in text books or scraps of paper for cheating.

State authorities posted police at all schools where examinations were being held, “but we can’t use force to drive away the parents,” he said.

Nearly two dozen parents were detained after they were caught helping their children, but were released after several hours.

Bihar School Examination Board Secretary Sriniwas Tiwari said students caught cheating could be barred from taking the exam for up to three years, ordered to pay a fine or even sent to jail.

What an all-time headline from the Hindustan Times (what the hell is a Hindustan? I’m not usually one for obvious puns, but when life gives you parents scaling walls, you make ledgeless walls. Or something.

I mean isn’t that the easy solution here? Just don’t build the exterior of the schools with these ledges that parents can stand on? Or is this some type of “wink-wink nudge-nudge” from the schools to the parents? Don’t cheat! Your child deserves to fairly have a chance at not living in a country where people shit in the streets! I mean we all know that people from other countries extensively cheat. It’s rampant in IndiaCheating is the only option of Chinese students to get into U.S. colleges. And we all understand why – the U.S. has the best schools in the world, bar none. Except for the Oxfords and the Cambridges of the world, the best schools are located here. So when Indian colleges accept around 2% of applicantsHarvard’s acceptance rate of 5.3% looks like an all-you-can-accept feast at the Golden Corral. So you have to feel for these students and parents. It’s either score incredibly high against 20 million other kids, or you’re stuck living at the bottom of the caste system for your life. Not exactly a peachy outlook. But at least make the cheating less obvious!

What ever happened to the good old fashioned “write a few equations on your palm,” method? Or my favorite – write everything you needed to know on your desk in pencil before the tests were handed out. The test itself was the perfect cover-up for your notes. When you need to see something, just slide the paper over, and then cover it again. Easy peasy. The tried and true “stretch and stare” method was also an all-time classic. “Man, my back is so sore from sitting down for 5 minutes. Better look to All-A’s-Andy to the right. Oh, right, the capital of Lousiana is Baton Rouge! I knew that! Just needed a quick back crack to remember.” If it wasn’t for the enhanced information recollection tactics that I employed (hey, if the government gets to make up bullshit terms then so can I), I’d be flipping burgers instead of sitting at a desk covertly writing blogs instead of working. The grind is real and never stops.

In 10th (?) grade, my English teacher had just given up on controlling the class. It was anarchy in the room – paper planes flying, one kid actually did shrooms in the back, and one time we sprayed perfume into the air vents of a closet after we stuffed a kid in there (that kid was me, not my best moment). So during our final, I just taped my notes on the back of my friend Matt. I guess it just wasn’t suspicious that he was wearing a sweatshirt during the middle of June in an unairconditioned, uninsulated Massachusetts high school. Finished (and somehow only got a B, again, not my best moment) the final and gave that sheet to Matt. He got an A. So basically what I’m getting at is that I graduated 10th grade, much like these Indians, because I could covertly have outside help (not cheat. Cheating is bad).

Another time, I hadn’t read any of the first 5 chapters of Scarlet Letter. So I was hitting up Sparknotes like Flava Flav hitting the crackpipe. My teacher saw, and asked what I was doing. As quick as Leonardo DiCaprio slips into 18 year old models, I blurted out “mybrotherneedsaridehomesoIaskedhimwhattime,” (which was true, for the record) and she believed. Managed squeak by with like a 62 on that test. My parents would be proud.

Moral of the story, I guess, is that I’m a huge fraud and I sit on a throne ($19.99 computer chair from Staples) of lies.

So you go, parents of Ganesh Coco. Just try not to jump off the ledge if your kid fails or you get caught.

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