The Backbenchers and the new Master Ji

Students of Section A irrespective of which class, had a lot of expectations from the new Master Ji. Students were waiting for a lot of changes in their school lives. To know why the new Master Ji, please have a look at the first part of this story “The backbenchers and the Madam Ji“. In fact the author recommends the readers to read the first part firs if not already done.

The new Master Ji came with new class teachers as well, however the class assistants and the invigilators remained the same. The new Master Ji from day one started visited different classes and sections, reminding the students that cheating in any form has to stop and they should not take this lightly.

The time for the mid term arrived. The backbenchers who put this change in motion were really excited and were now in class VIII, expecting the unexpected. The students from the three sections A, B and C assembled in the examination hall, as they were supposed to. Section A students were not expecting any humming this time. To their utter shock, in less than 20 mins after the exam began, they heard the first humming again.

“What is the new class teacher going to do now?” was literally the question in everybody’s mind. The class teacher looked at the humming assistant and then towards the students cheating and said “Stop talking”. And that was it. How could that be it? Class teacher noticing what was happening and simply requesting them to stop it was not at all what was expected. This is not the good time, the acche din, section A students were looking for. Two days later the students gathered for their next exam, and the same thing happened. The class teacher noticed the students cheating, a student opened his bag, took out his notes and copied from it. And the only thing the teacher did was say “stop cheating, there will be consequences”. The teacher even noticed that there was an imposter writing the exam; a class X student writing the exam in place of class VIII student. This continued for the rest of the mid term exams. In short the only change with the new Master Ji and the class teacher was that the class teacher did not overlook the cheating incidents, he acknowledge the very fact that cheating was actually happening in the class in various ways. The cheating continued even after repeated verbal warnings. This was not at all what anybody was expecting after the change.

The backbenchers and other section A students were mocked, “how’s the josh?” and they had no answers. They did not know what was happening. Why is the new Master Ji not doing anything about this?

Mid terms were over, now the regular classes started. Master Ji along with the class teachers kept asking the students to stop cheating and blah blah. But no serious action was taken. Absolutely nothing was happening. At least nothing was visible. The Section A students were highly demotivated, they had made up their minds that they will give a negative feedback come this year end survey.

The final term exams arrived. The students gathered in the examination hall as usual. There was something different about the hall. There was a new fancy structure built adjacent to the wall at the back. “Of course we wanted some beautification of the hall”, stated one of the Section A students in despair. Once all the students were seated, the class teacher went towards the newly build structure and made an announcement.

“all the students should keep their belongings (wallets, purses, bags, books etc.) in these lockers here, you can only keep a wrist watch, geometry box, pen pencils etc. and of course the locker key with you on your seats.”

There was a moment of pin drop silence in the class. And then after a few seconds all hell broke loose. There was chaos all around. No body saw this coming. The Section A backbenchers were shouting slogans “Hurray Hurray! the good times are here“. They were happy and excited. There were long queues at the back near the lockers, the Section B students were complaining, shouting and screaming in distress. They were arguing with the class teacher. This is illegal, it is not mentioned in the School rule book, it later turned out that it indeed was mentioned in the school rule book. The assistants and invigilators started to highlight the case of a student who fainted while waiting for her turn to put her belongings in a locker. The exam that was supposed to be started by 9:00AM did not start even by 1:00 PM. The class teacher then announced a lunch break for 30 minutes and said that the exam would start sharp and 1:30 PM. If any student doesn’t want to appear for the exam he/she does not need to come to the class. Section A students went to the cafeteria to eat and the section B students went to the principal office to meet the Master Ji and get this rule revoked. Master Ji listened to them and after listening to them for fifteen minutes said, “the exam would start at 1:30 PM and if you are late, you would not be allowed to sit for the exam at all, don’t worry the examiners this time would be lenient while checking the copies, take the test”, and after saying this he left.

Although, section B wanted to get the exams cancelled, but it did not happen and they had to write the exam. During the exam, the humming was still there, section B students were still whispering. Some of the students did not keep all the stuff in the locker and they still copied from their notes. Once the exam was over, section A students went home, but the section B students stayed. The assistants and the invigilator made official statements that the cheating still happened, students still copied from the notes and this new rule of lockers is useless. Although, by accepting that the cheating still happened, they exposed themselves that they were overlooking it in the past, but this did not stop them from making these statements.

There was a lot of pressure made on the Master Ji to revoke this new rule, but he did not budge. Only certain rules changed like now the students were also allowed to keep a water bottle on their desks along with the other stuff.

The day for the next exam arrived, Section A was extremely happy and the Section B students were extremely unhappy. In the last two days after the first subject exams, there were a lot of activities in the school. Last year’s Section B toppers had returned their trophies showing their dissent, which by the way they got only because cheating was overlooked. One of the toppers even said that his sister feels that he should be changing the school. The students arrived in the examination hall as usual, they were again asked to put their belongings in the locker. One of the section B backbenchers snubbed “we still cheated in the last exam, and we will still do it today”. The class teacher smiled and said “No, you won’t. You see these cameras there, while pointing fingers at the two corners in the front, they are operational now. Master Ji has invoked the flying squad after the last exam. So if you now cheat, the flying squad who is actually sitting in the staff room and monitoring the classes, would pay you a visit and disqualify you”.

Hurray!! Hurray!! shouted a backbencher from the section A. And once again the chaos began. “This can’t be true, this is ridiculous, this is a threat to our privacy and security. This is unacceptable.” The exam that was supposed to be started by 9:00AM did not start even by 1:00 PM. The class teacher then announced a lunch break for 30 minutes and the exam would start sharp and 1:30 PM. If any student doesn’t want to appear for the exam he/she does not need to come to the class. This has now become the standard procedure. The things happened the exact same way as they happened last time.

Once the exam started, even though the phenomenon of distracting by humming was known to all, the assistants and invigilators still tried to overshadow the cheaters. A few students had not put all of their belongings in the lockers. One of them kept his notes in the desk, he started to copy from the notes. In a few minutes three staff members entered the examination hall, without saying a single word to anyone, approached that student, took his notes from the desk, took a picture of his notes along with the answer sheet, printed the picture, stapled it on the answer sheet, put a note “F-caught cheating” along with flying squad stamp on the answer sheet, took the sheet with them. It all happened in only five minutes.

Once the three staff members left the room, somebody from the back shouted “Hurray” and the rest of the section A resonated “Hurray Hurray”. The invigilators and section B students were pissed. Really pissed!!!

Later that evening, these section B students along with the assistants and the invigilators claimed that they were always fine with the lockers. Their only complain regarding lockers was the way it was implemented. It could have been done in a much better way. But this, security cams is a threat to privacy. Flying squads are picking and choosing, they are unfair. This has to stop, this is against the values of the school. Master Ji and his appointed teachers are using flying squads to target Section B, they want only Section A in the school. We will not let this happen. This is our school as much as Section A.

Master Ji did not budge. Lockers, CCTV Cams and the flying squads stayed the same throughout the final term exam, there were small adjustments and changes but nothing major changed.

Now came the time for results and the year end survey. It turned out that the number of students who wanted to keep the master ji intact increased. Along with that there were new toppers now, the faces were different.

The next year started, students moved to the next class. They are now in Class IX. Section A backbenchers were basking in the glory of what they had achieved so far and at the very same time, Section B students were busy finding a solution to fix this Master Ji. The very same question “What is going to happen next?” was inducing two entirely different emotions. Section B students had started massive protests in the School premises. They were not letting classes happen and so there were some skirmishes between the Section A and Section B students. A lot of furniture was damaged, glass windows were broken. The class assistants were and are still holding slogans like “Hurray and good times are here” accountable for those skirmishes. How did half of the year passed by amid the chaos, no body realized it. It was already the time for the mid terms again.

The students assembled in the examination hall as always. There was something different about the seating arrangement in the class this time. The third column for Section C students was completely missing. “Where do we sit?” asked somebody from section C. The class teacher pointed out that their seats are placed with the Section B and from now on there won’t be any separate column for you. In addition to this, there would only be one question paper for the entire class.

As soon as the class teacher said this, somebody shouted from the back “Hurray..” and the rest of the section A resonated “Hurray Hurray”. The section C students were comatose after listening to this. When they came back to their senses, they wanted to run out of the hall, but Master Ji learning from the previous exams, had instructed the class teachers to shut the doors and take help from the School’s security forces. The students couldn’t do much. They sat and wrote the exams like good students. Later, in the evening, some more toppers returned their trophies in the name of a protest. But nothing changed, all the new rules remained intact.

There is a fear in the minds of these students, as to what is coming next. The assistants and the invigilators haven’t still stopped humming during the exams, they still try to distract the class teacher and other section A students when the section B students cheat. They aren’t helping their cause now, instead they are increasing the hatred and social tensions between the two sections. Most of the time, they are the ones who are leaking information. Like they recently leaked the information that Master Ji has made a plan to tackle the imposters. According to them the students who write exams posing as someone else are going to get detained. All the students will now be required to produce their ID documents before entering the examination hall. This created a panic on another level, but because of the Coronavirus, all the schools are shut and the exams are postponed. So, for the time being nothing of this sort is happening. We will have to wait and watch, what happens next.

If you liked the story, please do share it with your friends and please subscribe to my blog so as to know what comes next. Must read: The Backbenchers and the Madam Ji

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