Rs100 is all your dad needs to have pharras delivered to you during the exam

Published: April 13, 2012
Students complain that if they don’t cheat during exams, they will score lower than those who do. In the file photo above, Board of Education, Sukkur, examination controller Mehmoodul Hasan Khokar is seen confiscating cheating material from students. PHOTO: FILE

Students complain that if they don’t cheat during exams, they will score lower than those who do. In the file photo above, Board of Education, Sukkur, examination controller Mehmoodul Hasan Khokar is seen confiscating cheating material from students. PHOTO: FILE


Is there a point to sitting examinations at all? The only reason students take them, it seems, is that they need a piece of paper that would make them eligible for higher education, or for a job.

A visit to examination centres here on Thursday seemed to point out that the copy mafia has become more power than the education department. Many people were seen standing outside these centres, ready to provide “logistical support,” as one of them put it, to candidates taking their SSC-I exams.

The students, however, had a different view of the matter. Some of them, when asked for the reason they use unfair methods during exams, said that if they don’t, they would lose out on marks to those that do use them. “Why am I supposed to feel bad about it, when my teachers don’t pay any attention towards our studies?” asked one such candidate.

While talking to The Express Tribune, X, whose son was taking the board exam, said, “I tear specific answers from the [study] guide and give it over to a peon, who will hand it over to my son.” This person added that he pays the staffer Rs100 per day to keep this system running smoothly.

However, the scenes described above fail to capture the drama that was taking place inside examination rooms. Candidates could be seen copying answers from materials that were smuggled in, which they then shared with each other. Some of them were brave enough to leave their seats to go and directly ask their fellow exam takers.

In the middle of this mayhem, a lone man was shouting in vain to bring order. “Performing duty during exams is becoming very difficult for teachers like me,” said the invigilator. When reminded of his authority to take away a candidate’s examination copy and sending him home, he replied, “We might be suspended and also lose out on our invigilation duties if we do that.”

“You never know about the connections of these candidates”, the poor fellow said.

While the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Sukkur has formed 13 vigilance teams to visit examination centres and book students for cheating. BISE officials say that hundreds of students have been caught so far. Sources, however, add that senior BISE officials receive calls from some “influential people,” who vouch for invigilators to take a lenient view of unfair means used by some students.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • alicia
    Apr 13, 2012 - 8:44AM

    This happens every year during matric exams. Shame on all those who use cheating to go ahead.


  • RJ
    Apr 13, 2012 - 9:42AM

    Then you wonder why the country is in the state it is in today….This is what our future generation is going be


  • roma
    Apr 13, 2012 - 9:51AM

    wow. this is really very bad


  • Saad Ullah
    Apr 13, 2012 - 10:24AM

    Such a depressing piece! How can this country prosper if the SO CALLED educated people in Pakistan get their education like this!


  • aliza awais
    Apr 13, 2012 - 10:26AM

    Iam always so Sad to hear such kind of news as when I was in Pakistan and I used to be a student,nothing like this Happened….


  • True Muslim Paki
    Apr 13, 2012 - 10:32AM

    Why this is a news item? Everyone knows this? Mr. Sarfaraz Memon (the writer of this article), havent you done this? All of us have done copying when we grew up in Islamabad, isnt it?

    ET should behave like Newspaper rather than like a tabloid sensationalizing things we all know of.


  • Baba Ji
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Imran Khan ( perceived panacea for all our ills ) will come and sort the Matric exams too !!!!Recommend

  • Asad
    Apr 13, 2012 - 11:17AM

    Come on,
    Its not that bad. I cheated in my board exams and now a practicing lawyer. :)


  • Dr. Doolittle
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:03PM

    Going from bad to worse. All this takes away the real spirit of competition away from our young people. No country in the region has such shameful behavior during a landmark exam. No wonder we are behind Bangladesh, economically and morally.


  • waqas
    Apr 13, 2012 - 12:49PM

    Serves you Right!


  • Ashar
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:19PM

    Something that is highly deplorable cannot be accepted only because it is rampant in the society. one friend above says he did it without having any feeling of shame, other claims the entire Islamabad is involved in it. Please do not build your opinion upon this. Before the advent of Islam in Makkah, idolatry was common, however there were still few persons who were against it and believed that it was wrong. And we are making ourselves to believe on an evil only because every body out there is doing it. However, it is wrong.I am a successfull Engineer, never cheated in my exams and the same I have advised to my kids. And there are so many like me in Pakistan. GOVERNMENT SHOULD TAKE EVERY MEASURE TO STOP IT SINCE THE BIGGEST LOSER IN THIS GAME IS THE STUDENT HIMSELF.


  • vigilant
    Apr 13, 2012 - 1:29PM

    This defines the law & order situatin in Pakistan


  • Goldfinger
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:14PM

    Computerize the exam with MCQs and limited time to answer.Its done the world over.


  • ZYZE
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:49PM

    This is happening from decades, not a new thing in our society….. only thing new is , the media … now the media is showing the real face.

    We need to correct our selves by utilizing the positive aspect of Media.


  • Guybrush
    Apr 13, 2012 - 2:57PM

    When I took my 9th grade examination (Karachi board), the exam centre we got was notorious and as expected quite a few students, who were my class fellows and many of whom had been so for the past 9 years, got many ‘outside help’, from complete solved papers, pharras to the examiner allowing them to open their notes and text books. As taught at my home by my parents, I remained honest to just solving the paper with my own knowledge. I had always been the top student in my school. God always helps the honest. None of my class-fellows got marks anywhere close to mine. Not in total, not on any individual subject. I still got the highest in my school. True story.


  • Bilal
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:34PM

    … And that is why I did O/A levels.


  • AaK
    Apr 13, 2012 - 3:54PM

    Its the pure representation of our society, kudos young fellows for great job. Its showing your potential of cheating at this lower which I hope will mature with process of time and when you have to face this Hippocratic society at your own.

    Before objecting on my comment, think once at least, what you are expecting the reply of our beloved PM when Musa fixed a game of billions with some family friends and bureaucrats?


  • Imran
    Apr 14, 2012 - 12:22AM

    @Asad…u cheated in ur matri exams n r now A lawyer. U missed the ‘a’. That shows ur grammatical ability and also explains why cheating is bad. Also, lack of ethics in one sector of ur life is likely to spill into other. I hope u r practicing law honestly, though i have my doubts.


  • xzy
    Apr 14, 2012 - 2:41PM

    @ Asad:
    @True Muslim Paki:
    I thought according to Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)’s hadith, Muslims are not supposed to cheat.
    Surely you can’t rebuke it with the lame “it happens the west too” phrase.
    Isn’t it blasphemy to tear pages from Islamiyat books and hide them in your underwear as pharras.


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