A court has sought reply from the top education officials of Punjab on a petition challenging the online system of registration for the higher secondary school certificate (HSSC) examinations.
Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Younus of the Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench gave the direction on Thursday, seeking response from higher education secretary and heads of Punjab Information Technology Board and Rawalpindi Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (RBISE) in 10 days.
The court also directed Punjab’s assistant advocate general (AAG) to convey the court orders to the respondents.
The petition has been filed by the Punjab Teachers Union Rawalpindi district president Dr Chaudhry Saghir Alam, seeking discontinuation of the online system of registration for exams.
The petitioner has prayed to the court to direct the education authorities to allow using the manual system for registration as per recommendations of the judicial commission.
The petitioner’s counsel Saeed Yousuf Khan told The Express Tribune that the petition was prompted by the higher education department’s February 29 direction to all the eight examination boards to receive applications for the HSSC exams online.
He said that earlier a judicial commission had recommended to simultaneously follow both the manual and the online system of registration as a pilot project in one of the boards, and if proved error-free, it can be implemented in all the education boards.
However, he said a separate committee headed by Punjab chief secretary ordered against the committee’s recommendations, and directed that online system can be introduced.
The commission, he explained, was formed after numerous errors were reported in the HSSC Part-1 result purportedly caused by the online system.
The results fiasco triggered violent protests by students across the province following two students committed suicide out of distress.
The provincial government sacked some top officials of education department and the IT experts who introduced the online system.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2012.