As over 136,000 class nine students vied for good grades on the first day of the secondary school certificate exams on Wednesday morning, some of their peers spent the duration of the exam protesting outside the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK).
The protesting students belonged to the schools whose principals, according to the BSEK examinations controller, Noman Ahsan, had failed to submit their examination forms.
Over 65,080 students of class nine appeared for their board exams in 10 districts of Hyderabad division. PHOTO: ONLINE
"This is a case of criminal negligence on the part of the private schools involved," asserted Ahsan, as the students, accompanied by their parents, entered the board's premises, pleading it accept their examination forms. "We simply cannot accommodate the students at the eleventh hour. The arrangements involve a lot of matters, including survey of the examination centres, allocation of teachers for vigilance and personnel for security."
Ahsan vowed to register a formal complaint against the principals of the schools for putting at risk a whole year of the approximately 300 students. The schools include the City Pearl Grammar School, Al Hamd Public School, Pak Grammar High School, Ayesha Boys and Girls High School, as well as the Aziz Government Boys Secondary School whose principal, Muhammad Idrees, was beaten by the students' relatives Tuesday for his failure to submit the exam forms.
The BSEK secretary, Hoor Mazhar, told The Express Tribune that the City Pearl Grammar School administration had failed to submit their students' forms last year too. "For the sake of the students' future, the education board had made an exception and accepted the forms a few days before the exams," she recalled. "The principal should not expect us to repeat the favour every year." She went on to hold the parents equally responsible for the situation as they did not bother to verify the status of their children's exam forms even when they had had a bad experience last year.
The administrator at the City Pearl School, Syed Babbar Ali, accepted that around 60 of the school's students had received special permission to sit the exams last year. "We won't let the education board waste a year of our students. Discussions are underway and the BSEK officials will ultimately accept the forms," said Ali.
In contrast to the last several years, the BSEK has come up with what promises to be an effective vigilance strategy to end the culture of cheating at the approximately 295 examination centres set up across the city.
To the surprise of journalist teams surveying the centres, no major reports of cheating emerged at least on the first day when the science group students of class nine sat their computer science exam while another 14,674 general group students of class 10 attempted the English exam in the afternoon.
This year, around 325,000 students from the science and general groups will sit the exams that started on Wednesday and will continue till April 22.
The BSEK examinations controller, Ahsan, expressed satisfaction with the arrangements.
Exams in Hyderabad
Over 65,080 students of class nine appeared for their board exams in ten districts of Hyderabad division amid reports of widespread cheating and impersonation at the centres. The 40 vigilance teams of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Hyderabad, booked 64 students for cheating and 15 other candidates for impersonating.
At least four invigilators at different centers were discharged from their duties after being found conniving with students. The BISE declared 21 of the 208 centers as problematic. These include seven centers in Hyderabad, four in Benazirabad, two each in Jamshoro, Dadu and Thatta, and one each in Matiari, Sujjawal, Badin and Tando Muhammad Khan districts.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2014.
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