The annual Intermediate examinations, supervised and arranged by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, started across Sindh on Monday.
In Karachi there are 150,000 candidates sitting the exams in 90 centres scattered across the city. The Sukkur and Larkana boards have arranged 92 examination centres and twenty invigilation teams to prevent students from cheating. Sukkur Board’s Ali Shah Bukhari paid surprise visits to several centres and caught many students cheating. Solved examination papers were confiscated from the photocopier’s shop and the proprietor arrested. Seventy-five thousand students will sit for the exams in Hyderabad in a total of 119 centres.
In Sukkur, the apathy of officials encouraged students to pass on notes and other material, allegedly with help from lower staff and policemen. However, the students did face some difficulties, as the temperature reached 44 degrees Celsius and load shedding did not subside.
The first exam was Islamiat, which was supervised by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) in Ghotki, Khairpur, Naushero Feroze and Sukkur.
The BISE controller of examinations, Mehmoodul Hassan Khokhar, said that 97 examination centres have been set up in the four districts, out of which 69 centres are for boys and the rest for girls. There are 15 invigilation teams who will instantly punish students caught cheating.
Many people were seen milling around the examination centres, mainly to provide ‘essential logistics’ for their candidates. There was little vigilance as papers and other material were flowing inside to the candidates.
A variety of means were allegedly used by parents to help their sons or daughters during the exams. Some parents employed teachers who sat outside the examination centre in air-conditioned cars waiting for the exam to start. Less than fifteen minutes after the start of the exam, its question paper was ‘leaked’. The paper was then solved by the teachers waiting outside and sent through ‘couriers’ to the students inside the centre, who proceeded to copy the answer onto their sheets.
Others waited outside the centre with solved paper guides and as soon as the question paper reached them, tore out the relevant answers and sent them to the students. The ‘couriers’ charge between Rs150 to Rs200 per day for their work.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.