Exam season: Pocket-sized study guides sell like hotcakes

Readily available across the city despite ban imposed by BISE.


Asad Zia March 08, 2015
Afridi said cheating in exams is a pervasive norm of our academic culture and despite restrictions imposed every year, students discover new methods to dodge their way through. STOCK IMAGE

PESHAWAR: Pocket-sized study guides that come in handy for cheating during examinations are selling like hotcakes despite a ban imposed by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE).

Priced between Rs50 and Rs120, the concise handbooks are readily available across the city’s major bookshops ahead of the secondary school certificate (SSC) examinations scheduled for March 19.

Bookstores in Khyber Bazaar, Saddar Bazaar, Shaheen Town, Hayatabad and University Road are stocked with a range of such cheating material—demand for which soars during exam season. The guides can even be purchased against a nominal price at the University of Peshawar’s coffee shop.



Speaking to The Express Tribune, BISE Peshawar Chairman Muhammad Shafi Afridi said the district administration has been requested to launch a crackdown against such bookshops so that illegal practices are minimised in examination centres.

Afridi said cheating in exams is a pervasive norm of our academic culture and despite restrictions imposed every year, students discover new methods to dodge their way through.

He said around 1,000 students were penalised for cheating in the SSC exams last year. Afridi said the malpractice can be curbed only when parents and teachers instil moral standards into the children and practise what they preach. Afridi warned all papers of students found in possession of cheating material will be declared null and void.

District administration spokesperson Feroz Shah told The Express Tribune action is under way and inspection teams are carrying out raids every day.

A bookseller in Saddar Bazaar requesting anonymity said guides are in high demand these days and most stores are making fortunes out of selling concise syllabus preparation material. He said the ban has only led to a price hike and shopkeepers fear selling guides openly.

Another shopkeeper on University Road said not only students but even parents purchase handbooks that can be carried into exam centres easily, adding the district administration should raid printing presses if it really wants to ban their sale.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 9th, 2015.

 

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