Images of parents scaling the walls of an exam centre to help students cheat shamed Bihar last month and drew international attention to the appalling state of its education. NDTV has found that some evaluators checking answer sheets would also need help to pass exams.
At a school in Saharsa district, Tamanna Ali is evaluating English answer papers. Asked to spell 'Shakespeare', this is what he came up with: "S-h-a-k-s-p-e-a-r."
NDTV tried another examiner who also failed a pop quiz.
The teacher evaluating math papers was asked to explain the relevance of Pythagoras, the Greek Mathematician credited with the theorem taught to children in Class 9. His response was a puzzled look. Asked to spell 'Mathematics,' he replied: "M-a-t-h-m-a-t-e-s."
Another examiner found a 100-rupee note diligently taped to an answer sheet, perhaps by a student who thought the money would buy him passing marks.
The man in charge of the state's examination board said he is "by and large" fine with the system.
Earlier this year, a court ordered the sacking of nearly 3,000 primary school teachers who had failed to clear competency tests twice. The teachers had been tested for English, Math, Hindi and General Knowledge up to the Class 5 level.
Some 1,700 examinees and 38 students were expelled, and 132 parents were arrested last month after online footage of blatant cheating at exam centres went viral and even made it to foreign newspapers.
"Should we shoot them?" asked state education minister Prashant Kumar Shahi, summing up his government's helplessness in controlling a problem that has dogged Bihar's schools for decades.