The shortage of question papers in the ‘Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan’ till class eight, raises questions towards the sanctity of examination. Besides, it is being alleged that the shortage points towards a probable scam.

Many schools in the district, under the Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan (SSA), had to conduct the annual school examination without adequate number of question papers.

“We had to photocopy the question papers and hand it over to the students to write answers,” said a teacher of a school at Dumerjor under Kuanrmunda Block.

She also said that the story is the same in many other schools in the district. News of question paper shortage surfaced at Koira, Nuagaon, Gurundia, Bisra, Kutra, Lathikata, Kuanrmunda and other interior areas.

“There is a pattern in the whole scam as most of these areas are situated in the interiors of the district, but that does not mean the town areas did not experience this,” said another teacher here.

In Rourkela shortage of question papers was reported from Panposh Nodal School, Birsa Munda School, Bidyut Colony School, Daily Market School, Jhirpani School, and etc.

As per the guidelines of the SSA the questions papers should be packed separately. “The questions should be packed subject-, class- and then school-wise, but this is not being done,” alleged a teacher.

He further added, “the questions were bring brought in bulk in a truck to a particular school and dumped there, instead of being delivered at each school as per the SSA specification. In case of Rourkela the dumping centre was the Udit Nagar Girls High School.”

“The rule says the question papers should be packed in waterproof polythene and then in a waterproof sack, but these norms are all being violated,” said the same teacher.

And most of the schools complained about receiving very less number of question papers. “When we indent it two months ahead of time as per our capacity, how come we are receiving less question papers, and why should we run to photocopy those, while the rule is no question paper can go beyond the campus during examination,” asked another teacher.

“When the tender clearly mentions that the question papers should be packed properly from the press why it is not being done?” asked a teacher.

She also said when the question papers were coming without being packed there was every likelihood of getting leaked.

When this was brought to the notice of the district project coordinator of SSA Amulya Pradhan, he said, “I was surprised when I received complaints about question paper shortage in Rourkela and Koira. But we have sorted that out soon and there was no further complaint from anywhere,” He said; “I am not aware about problems elsewhere in the district.”

He however insisted that there is no irregularity in packing etc. Phone calls to the Collector of Sundergarh went unanswered.

However, when this was brought to the notice of ADM Rourkela Manisha Banerjee, she said, “no one has complained to me in this regard so I am not aware about it and cannot say anything at this moment.” But she promised to look into the case.