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Sindh Board Exams plagued with cheating

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The commencement of Sindh board exams ringed gold bells in the ears of cheating agents. The annual Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Part I and II examinations recently begun. Cheating has become a profitable business for cheating mafias, who have utilized social media for selling “help” during exams. Despite efforts and promises by the Sindh Government the culture of using unfair means during exams is rampant across Sindh.

Whatsapp and Facebook groups are used by cheating agents to provide unfair means of assistance during exams. According to officials most of these groups are being operated in Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas or other districts, and while cases against the illegal practice were registered across the province on Wednesday.

Cheating has become a vicious cycle in Sindh, where students who do not cheat, see others cheat, develop a perception that they must also cheat in order to compete in the rat race.

According to reports around 23 officials of Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) were allegedly involved in swindling practices during exams. They, along with private chat mafia agents, were involved in “paper leaks” and “social media assistance” during exams. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has ordered an inquiry into the alleged matter. The report has been submitted to the chief minister through home department recently and is divided into three parts; pre-paper leak, post-paper leak and the role of private agents.

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

The report claimed there were at least nine such private agents, including one who was a private school teacher involved in such malpractices. Another issue in the Sindh board exams, as outlined by Dr Irfan Ahmed Rind in a recent research, is of repetition of questions in the exams that makes predicting exam pattern easier. Last year in May the army was requested to intervene in order to assist the exam vigilance system.

According to officials most of these groups are being operated in Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas or other districts, and while cases against the illegal practice were registered across the province on Wednesday.

According to reports Pakistan Penal Code has been implemented on exams centre and no one was allowed to run a photocopy shop or sell cheating material near the exam centers. The concerned authority claims to be ensuring the best to curb cheating as vigilance teams were also formed to pay surprise visits to exam centers. According to the education department students are using Indian cellular networks to conceal their identities.

Read more: 24% Increase in Sindh’s education budget; what will it achieve?

“No cell phones are allowed in examination centers and it is the duty of the heads concerned to discourage cheating culture in the exam centers. Those who failed to do so would be taken to task”, had warned the education minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar.  

Cheating has become a vicious cycle in Sindh, where students who do not cheat, see others cheat, develop a perception that they must also cheat in order to compete in the rat race. This perception is a result of giving more importance to marks and grades rather than emphasizing on the importance of learning skills and of an understanding of knowledge.

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