The Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) has insisted that the Intermediate Part 1 annual exams results it recently announced are accurate and there will be no revision, despite a third day of protests by students on Thursday.
Protests outside the board office began on October 2, a day after the board announced the results, with students claiming that they had been marked absent in exams that they sat for. Students from the Government College for Women Samanabad protested outside the board office on Wednesday, prompting increased security at the office on Thursday.
The board had said on Tuesday that 1,712 candidates had been marked as absent for one or more exams, while 292 had written the wrong roll numbers on their papers.
Speaking to The Express Tribune on Thursday, Lahore BISE Examinations Controller Anwar Farooq said that the cases where the students had written the wrong roll numbers had been sorted out and they could all now access their results online.
But Farooq said that the board was “100 per cent sure” that those who had been marked as absent for an exam had actually been absent on the day. “There is no question that these students were not absent,” he said.
Farooq himself had appeared on Tuesday to blame invigilators at the exam centres when complaints of inaccuracies in the results surfaced. Addressing a press conference, he had said that the board had been sent incompetent teachers who had not checked that students were writing down accurate roll numbers. He had called them notorious and negligent.
Lahore BISE Public Relations Officer Qaiser Mahmood, speaking to The Tribune on Thursday, said that the absences were not a result of poor invigilating. Negligence on the part of invigilators may have meant some candidates wrote down the wrong roll numbers, but it would not have resulted in them being marked absent, he said.
“There is no record of these candidates giving the exam,” he said. “Students at the exam centres don’t just get marked as present, they also submit answer sheets.”
The board officials suggested that the protests were being driven by students who had performed poorly in the hope that they might get some bonus marks.
Last year, the Intermediate Part I results were revised owing to errors in the compilation process, resulting in the pass percentage going up from 39.64 per cent in the original results to 50.26 per cent. This year’s pass percentage was 55.84 per cent.
Farooq said that board officials had met with the protesters on Wednesday, but their demands were unreasonable. “They said that they had expected higher marks and the board should revise the results. They wanted grace marks,” he said.
“It is not the board’s responsibility to raise the pass percentage,” said Mahmood. “Our job is to conduct the examining process and ensure accuracy and transparency in the results.”
They said that only nine of the 1,547 candidates from Government College for Women Samanabad who registered for the exams had been marked as absent in one or more paper.
Mahmood said that the protesters were not clear in their demands. “If there is something wrong with the results, why don’t they tell us what?” he said.
The board issued a statement on Thursday stating that the results were accurate and were not being revised. It added that students could contact the board office for rechecking of their exam papers up till October 16.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2012.
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