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Phones, books in exam centers: Happens only in Sindh!


News Analysis |

Despite all efforts claims of the Sindh government, cheating is still a common practice during the annual examination across the province. According to media reports, the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Part-I (9th class) Annual Examination of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Sukkur commenced on Monday (yesterday) and the first paper of English was leaked before the exam.

The cheating agents seemed out of control as the illegal activity has plagued the whole system. It has been reported that mobile phones were used in Ghotki and Kashmore during the exams.

Local media reported that in Karachi, two external students were held for giving examinations in place of their associates. In Tharushah, police arrested 11 people for helping students in cheating during the examination. Students used WhatsApp group for cheating in Tando Jam. In Sanghar, examination started late due to delay in arrival of question paper. In Thatta, students faced trouble due to mismanagement at examination centers caused by external people.

In Sindh, there has been a heated debate to introduce some changes so that the culture of cheating is stopped. On March 29, the education department decided against delaying the exams for the third time.

In Larkana, Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education (BISE), Larkana, has claimed that they carried out 135 copy cases on first day of annual SSC examinations 2019 and 93 cases of impersonation were also caught by their teams out of which 19 were in Larkana, 62 in Kambar-Shahdadkot, 5 in Shikarpur, 7 in Dadu and ironically they could not capture any case in Jacobabad and Kashmore districts.

As many as 93405 students are appearing in SSC annual examinations out of which 46722 students are appearing in SSC Part-I and 46685 in Part-II for which 140 examination centers have been established and 24 vigilance teams have been constituted out of which 16 belong to BISE Larkana and only eight to education & Literacy Department of Government of Sindh.

It is worth noting here that earlier the physics paper of Class 11 got leaked through WhatsApp just half an hour before the exams were scheduled to begin. The controller of examination was also suspended by the Chief Minister of Sindh.

Read more: Sindh Board Exams plagued with cheating

In Sindh, there has been a heated debate to introduce some changes so that the culture of cheating is stopped. On March 29, the education department decided against delaying the exams for the third time. They had been delayed twice before – on March 20 and March 25.

Overall the education department has set up 365 exam centers across the province where 367,606 students are taking their exams. The government has also imposed Section 144 of the PPC for the exams.

Recently in a strange decision, the Sindh education minister had announced that the exams will be conducted in grounds instead of classrooms to prevent cheating. But many questioned this decision and parents of students protested and demanded not to introduce any such policy.

Mr. Pitafi suggests that Sindh’s education system needs to be supervised by an independent body so that a system may be introduced to ensure transparency and clarity in the process of students’ evaluation.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has called the chairperson and commissioners of the BISE on Monday after the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination’s English paper was leaked before the exam was scheduled to begin in Sukkur and Mirpurkhas.

GVS contacted Ghulam Murtaza Pitafi belonging from Sindh and currently working as Lecturer in Politics at School of Politics and International Relations at University of Management Sciences (UMT), Lahore. Mr. Pitafi believes that cheating culture is a permanent feature of Sindh’s education system. “You even cannot think of appearing in an exam without having mobile phones or books with you,” he said. He opines that since invigilators are from the local areas and are generally at good terms with students, therefore, an understanding between both parties leads to “a free environment to solve a paper”.

Read more: Pakistan’s defective examination system: reforms or demise?

Mr. Pitafi suggests that Sindh’s education system needs to be supervised by an independent body so that a system may be introduced to ensure transparency and clarity in the process of students’ evaluation. “If we cannot stop students from using mobile phones and books during their examination we must not give them papers. Just promote them and let them dominates our already questionable education system,” he lamented.

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