Ahmedabad: 'Linguistic minority' Class 12 students in
Gujarat face a problem during the examinations as the state education
board does not provide question papers in the language they have opted
for, claim some schools.
The students of Urdu, Sindhi, Marathi and five other 'linguistic
minority' languages are instead given question papers in Gujarati,
Hindi or English, which they have not studied and are ignorant of, say
the authorities of minority schools.
The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB)
chairman, H.N. Hingu, says in defence: "The first reason is that they
(such students) are very few in number. Second it is a question of
secrecy (of the question papers). The chances of question papers
getting leaked are more if it is translated in other languages."
Since the board was started in 1975, the students of the eight
'minority' languages have been getting papers in Hindi, English and
Gujarati on the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) pattern,
The schools and education trusts run by linguistic minorities are
upset, arguing that when the board is able to provide text books and
teachers in the eight languages then why it could not provide the
question papers in the languages.
"If it is an administrative problem, why should the students be made
to pay a price? If the board can manage the textbooks and teachers in
different languages like Urdu or Sindhi, what stops them from
providing the question papers in the same languages?" asked
Sharifunnisha Qazi, the principal of F.D. High School, Ahmedabad.
Gulam Mohammed Ansari, an Urdu teacher, asks why Class 12 students
could not be given the same option, since Class 10 students of
'minority languages' are given question papers in the language they
have opted for.
"The board has no problem in providing Class 10 students with question
papers in their opted media. Why do they not behave properly with
Class 12 students?" questioned Ansari.
"If they really have a threat of papers getting leaked when translated
in Gujarat , they should get them translated in another state. But
Class 10 papers have never got leaked from any translator here," he
Many term the argument of keeping the question papers a secret as
"If they fear the papers will get leaked, how can they guarantee that
a Gujarati or Hindi speaking teacher will never leak a paper? How can
they accuse linguistic minorities of dishonesty?" asked Nirmal
Goplani, principal of Maharshi Dayanand High School here.
"For conducting their examinations they prefer our centres, arguing
that we are strict and don't allow copying. But when it comes to
offering question papers in Sindhi, Urdu or Marathi, they brand us
unfaithful," he added.
"For Class 10, the question papers of all the eight languages are
translated. Has any Urdu or Sindhi translator leaked papers? Why is
the board worried about Class 12?" asked Ansari.
According to Sharifunnisha Qazi, the board's arguments were "rubbish"
to "wash its hands off the responsibility".
The authorities of such language schools have taken up the issue
regularly before different committees, the minority commission and the
state government, but to no avail.
She said the education minister had expressed concern over the issue
and assured that the problem would be looked into.
"The Urdu medium students are facing more problems now as the number
of questions had increased from five to 80 on the CBSE pattern," said
She said the Urdu medium students appearing for the computer paper
were expected to write in Gujarati.
"The paper is in other languages, which the students find difficult.
How can they write in a language they don't know at all?" she
When asked about the board's insistence on Gujarati in the subject of
computers, Hingu refused to comment, expressing ignorance over the
The schools have meanwhile begun to train students by having
compulsory question papers in Gujarati during preliminary
"We now give them papers in Gujarati from Class 11 so that they become
accustomed to the script. We have no other option," said Goplani.
According to Goplani, teachers and trustees of the 'linguistic
minority' schools are planning to approach the high court on the
There are 300 students of Urdu language, around 200 of Marathi and
more than 100 students of Sindhi taking the Class 12 examination.
There are more than 250,000 Class 12 students across the state taking
the examinations this year.