Far-flung testing centres irk candidates

The spokesperson for the BISE Lahore maintained that preference was given to venues suggested by private candidates

Asif Mahmood May 19, 2024



For candidates appearing for an exam, the anticipation of the upcoming test makes the journey to the exam centre a significantly stressful time period however, the mental exasperation is elevated to several degrees for matric and intermediate students in Lahore, who in addition to revising the highlighted notes, also have to navigate through a far-off, unknown area in order to reach the exam centre on time.
One such student was Iman Fatima, an intermediate candidate from Wahga Town, who was assigned an exam centre located in the China Scheme Government Associate College for Women, which lies several kilometres away from her home. “I have to change two rickshaws in addition to covering some distance on foot before I can reach the centre. Not only is my journey tiring in this hot weather but it is also fairly costly,” lamented Iman.
Similarly, Azmat Bano, mother of another intermediate student shared that her daughter's exam centre was located 25 kilometres away from their home, compelling them to change several rickshaws in order to reach the location. “I cannot send my daughter alone to the exam centre, so I have to accompany her, which is not only inconvenient but also expensive. First, we have to walk one kilometre from our home to the main road. Then we take a rickshaw to reach the Orange Line Metro Station, from where we get to Baghbanpura and then take another rickshaw to the exam centre. The whole journey costs around Rs300 per day,” regretted Bano.
While Bano was lucky to have access to public transport options nearby, Masood Faridi, another parent from DHA Phase 3 highlighted the fact that almost no buses or trains were functional in his locality. “My son's exam centre is located in Harbanspura, which is 22 kilometres away from our home. Since there is no public transport available, I have to drop him to the exam centre in my own car. If an online taxi is booked, it would cost him around Rs800 to Rs900 per ride,” said Faridi.
“Our exam system is still following the old conventional policy whereby exam centres are allocated without paying any heed to the convenience of the students. Exam centres should be allocated in each zone according to the number of high schools and colleges in that area, and special consideration should be given to female students to allocate exam centres near their homes,” opined Muhammad Rafiq, an expert on education.
When contacted by the Express Tribune, the spokesperson for the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Lahore maintained that private candidates were asked to suggest their nearest exam centre when filling out their admission forms, and their preference was given priority while allocating exam centres.
”Similarly, regular candidates' exam centres are suggested by their institutions. The board tries to allocate exam centres according to the candidates' preferences, but sometimes it is not possible due to limited resources. This year, over 300,000 students are appearing for exams in Lahore Board's two shifts. The board is trying to allocate exam centres in each zone, but sometimes it is not possible due to the limited number of exam centres in certain areas,” they claimed.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ