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RAWALPINDI: The education department has decided to initiate legal proceedings against principals who deliberately stopped some nine graders from appearing in the secondary school certificate (SSC) examination to avoid poor results.

“We are concerned about the dropout rate. On Saturday, we issued a notice to all schools, directing the principals to submit examination and registration records of 9th and 10th class of the last four years,” said Qazi Zahoorul Haq, the executive district officer (EDO) education.

He said if any principal was found guilty, action would be taken against him under the Punjab Employees, Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act.

“It came to our notice that during the last a few years, a large number of students, who were registered with the BISE Rawalpindi in 9th class, could not appear in the annual examinations as a regular candidates,” said a senior officer at the EDO office.

Schools asked to submit four-year record of examinations and students’ registration

According to a recently-published report of Alif Ailaan, almost 15 per cent students after passing their elementary examination could not make it to grade 10. The official said not allowing students to appear in the board examination as regular candidates could be a major reason for the dropout in the matriculation class.

Talking to Dawn, Deputy District Officer Mohammad Ikhlaq said there were so many reasons for the dropout in senior classes. “We can’t say that not sending regular admissions is the main reason for the dropout. But it could be one of the major reasons.” He said after collecting data from all the 384 secondary schools, the department would be in a position to point out the actual reason.

“It’s true that teachers do not send admission forms of weak students to the board to avoid departmental proceedings for the poor results. All students should be allowed to appear in the examination,” said Raja Shahid Mubarik, the president of the Punjab Teachers’ Union, Rawalpindi.

He, however, said the trend of not sending admissions of students as regular candidates was on the rise in private institutions.

Abrar Ahmed Khan, the president of the Private Schools Association, however, defended the institutions.

“Sometimes, schools avoid sending admissions of weak students as regular candidates and send their admissions as private candidates,” he said.

The complications involved in the board examination system and hefty fee are the main reasons for the dropout rate in grade 9 and 10, he maintained.

It may be noted that currently there are over 25 million out-of-school children across the country.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2014