KARACHI, May 8: A special vigilance team of the board discovered 90 candidates using unfair means at two SSC annual examination centres established in one private and one government secondary school in Orangi Town during a “surprise raid” on Tuesday. But neither of the candidates in question were removed from the centre nor was there any case sent to the education board against them.
Though the controller of examination of the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK), Rafia Mallah, said that necessary action had been taken, Dawn learnt that the entire lot of candidates, including the “alleged copiers” was given 10 to 15 minutes extra to solve their papers at the two centres under the directives of the special vigilance team.
Sources in the examination centres in question said that a vigilance team headed by a private school management head was tasked to ascertain a complaint that unauthorised people were appearing in the examination at the centres in question.
We were told by the vigilance team that a certain government official had been approached by certain quarters complaining about the massive use of unfair means at our examination centre, said a senior person from the government school in question, who added that the team comprising eight to 10 persons could not find anyone impersonating as a candidate, but they took the answer scripts from the students in different rooms on the pretext of unfair means.
It was further said that the scripts of candidates suspected of cheating were returned by the visitors with the instruction that they should be given 10 minutes extra along with the other students. “There was no evidence available with us to make cases about resorting to unfair means and as such the scripts of all the candidates were sent to the board as usual, without any segregation,” said a deputy centre superintendent.
In the case of the private school, too, the senior management people claimed that the vigilance team did check the candidates and marked the scripts of a number of candidates on the suspicion of cheating acts, but finally left the centre without giving any special instruction in regard to the candidates in question.
“We, too, had to give extra time to students in the wake of the visit and the disturbance caused thereafter,” said the private school manager, adding that the exercise was of cursory nature with the team leaders and others returning the answer scripts of the suspected students by themselves. “No separate or sealed envelope carrying copies of the marked students has been sent to the board specially,” the person added, saying that the visitors had not handed over any used cheating material to the examination staff for the purpose of handing it in to the unfair means committee of the BSEK.
Rafia Mallah said that the special team made a surprise visit under her instructions and she would be furnishing a report to the high ups in the government on Wednesday. However, she mentioned that the answer scripts of candidates who were found using unfair means were not received as sealed or separated, and it was likely that those would be received at the board on Wednesday.
Ms Mallah further said that show cause letters had been issued separately to the centre superintendents in which they had been asked to clarify their position in question to failing to take notice of the massive cheating.
Directors of government and private schools have also been issued a letter for taking action against the schools in question.
The BSEK conducted its last paper (English of Science group) on Tuesday. The examination had commenced on April 5 and the board had to defer the conducting of some papers in view of the law and order situation in the city.
In the meantime, the BSEK on Tuesday also announced the new schedule of papers for which the candidates registered at six SSC centres located in the violence-affected areas of Lyari town could not appear earlier as the centres were closed for examination purposes.
Mathematics paper of Science group would be held from 9am to 12noon on Wednesday (May 9), while Commercial Geography, Geography (elective) and Clothing and Style of General Group and Computer Studies of Science Group would be held in the second shift from 2pm to 5pm at the same centre on the same day.
Biology of Science group and General Science of general group would be held in the first and second shifts, respectively, on May 10, while Braile (theory), Arabic, Persian, Household Accounts paper of General group will be held in the first shift on May 11.
Sindhi Salees, Sindhi Normal, Urdu Alternative, English Literature (C) and Geography of Pakistan Paper-I of the Science group will be held on Friday (May 11) in the second shift (2.30pm to 5.30pm), said a BSEK press release.