LARKANA/KARACHI (May 19, 2011): Annual Intermediate examinations (FA/FSc)held across Sindh entered their third day on Wednesday with rampant and blatant cheating captured on camera in examination centres of Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad and other areas.
In Larkana, the exam was held for first-year English students. Candidates sitting the exams were seen using mobile phones, books, notes and other material to answer questions. Unauthorised people were allowed to enter examination centres to pass answers to students and there was no restriction on their movement. The special vigilance teams set up by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education did not manage to reach Larkana for a third consecutive day.
It was alleged that the invigilators present at the centres, board officials, policemen and lower staff were all in cahoots with the youngsters. Students were calm and relaxed, and continued to cheat even while they were being filmed by Express News.
The Sukkur Board’s chairman, Ali Shah Bokhari, while talking to Express News denied all claims of neglect on the part of the board and its officials. He maintained that preparations were better than those taken for last month’s Matriculation exams and strict safeguards were in place to ensure that no cheating took place. “I have personally visited four exam centres in Shikarpur today and a few in Sukkur yesterday,” he said. “All arrangements at the centres were satisfactory.”
When asked about photographic evidence showing students blatantly cheating, Bokhari was non-commital. He said that it was not the responsibility of the board to prevent students. “It is the responsibility of the invigilators present inside the centres to prevent cheating,” he claimed. “We have given them clear instructions.” Bokhari claimed that around 20 teachers had been fired during the Matriculation exams for helping candidates cheat and he would not hesitate to do so again.
Abdul Wahab, ex-vice chancellor of Karachi University, lamented the extensive use of unfair means by students across Sindh. He said that if students are allowed to use shortcuts at such an early age, then they shall seek them their entire life, thereby affecting the quality of human resource in the country. He called for strengthening the vigilance teams and for attention to be paid to the quality of education in govenment schools. “Teachers are not interested in teaching during classes,” he said. “They encourage students to join their tuition centres, and join hands with board officials to facilitate cheating.” As students are not worried about being caught, they indulge in cheating openly and freely. “Cheating is not just a crime, it is a way to ruin a country,” said Wahab.
with additional input by Osman Husain
(Published in “Express Tribune” on May 19, 2011)