Existential (multiple-choice) questions: ‘Who secures us — God, Gilani or Zardari?

Ninth grade students scratch their heads at odd questions in Urdu examinations.

Owais Jafri March 29, 2012

DERA GHAZI KHAN:


No amount of hard work could have prepared 9th grade students to face these questions.


When students appearing for the compulsory Urdu paper in Lahore on Wednesday morning turned to the multiple-choice section, they were in for some surprises.

One question asked: Who is responsible for Pakistan’s security?

Options were God, [President] Zardari, [Prime Minister] Gilani and the people.

Another, trickier question asked what our system of life is based on. Options included: Deen (religion), dunya (the world), doulat (wealth) and [President] Zardari.

The second question was allegedly derived from the chapter “Islam, deen aur Science mein faasle” (Distance between Islam, faith and science) by Dr Abdullah.

The other 18 questions were from the assigned syllabus, however.

Who is responsible?

According to sources in the education ministry and education board officials in Lahore, the paper was designed by officials from the education board in Dera Ghazi Khan.

A total of eight boards make question papers for each subject, the source explained. The papers are then shuffled in coordination with the secrecy department. The question paper from Dera Ghazi Khan therefore ended up in Lahore, the source added.

Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Dera Ghazi Khan Chairperson Dr Zafar Aalam Zafri said he has been informed by BISE Lahore that the paper was made by his board.

He said the secrecy department, which is responsible for monitoring this system and checking papers, is the only one that is aware of such details.

“I have constituted a committee under the supervision of Principal Government College Layyah, Prof Maher Muhammad Akhtar, who will give me a report in 24 hours,” Zafri said.

The central chairman of all these boards in Lahore will decide the punishment for officials involved in this mistake, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2012.

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