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Parents climb walls in India to help students cheat

Education officials in Bihar said more than 600 10th grade students were expelled after being caught cheating on their exams.

By Ben Hooper

PATNA, India, March 20 (UPI) -- Parents in India's Bihar state were caught on camera scaling school walls to help 10th grade students cheat on their exams.

Officials said more than 600 students -- possibly up to 1,600 -- were expelled in Bihar after being caught cheating on exams Wednesday and Thursday as 1.4 million 10th grade students sat for the tests.

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Education officials said many students smuggled in textbooks and notes, while pictures and video shot outside several of the state's schools recorded parents and other family members scaling walls to pass cheat sheets to students.

Education minister PK Shahi said it would be impossible to completely eradicate cheating without the cooperation of parents in the state.

"It is impossible to hold completely fair examination without the cooperation of the parents. There are over 1.4 million examinees and with each of them there are usually three-four people. Managing six to seven million people is not a cup of tea for any administration. It requires parental and societal support as well," Shahi told the Hindustan Times.

Prasad Sinha, who formerly served as chair of the Bihar School Examination Board, said part of the problem is the low quality of instruction in schools.

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"After all, unless they are taught in schools, how can they be expected to answer? Just passing the test should not be the goal, but unfortunately that is the mindset," Sinha said.

Bihar, one of India's poorest states, has only a 64 percent literacy rate, compared to 74 percent for the country as a whole.

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