LARKANA: School heads in Larkana are taking Rs50 each from students of class V to VIII on the pretext of buying examination material which was to be supplied free of cost while in Khairpur students were not provided answer sheets and they had to arrange the sheets on their own to be able to sit exams.
The budget had been released to the district education department for the purchase of exams material but it lapsed before the department could complete the process, leaving officers in a fix as to how to arrange the required material, according to Larkana district education officer Anwar Ali Khokhar.
Talking to Dawn on Monday, Mr Khokhar denied school heads were charging students Rs50 each but sources in the department confirmed such reports.
He said that they were trying to arrange printing of question papers and answer sheets but in case they failed in their efforts, students would have to bring with them the sheets to sit annual examinations for class V to VIII scheduled for March 16.
He said that 50,000 to 60,000 students needed 350,000 answer copies. A total of 165,382 question papers and an equal number of answer sheets were required to conduct the examination, said sources.
The students of class VI, VII and VIII would need 392,156 question papers and an equal number of answer copies with 41,816 extra sheets for the drawing paper, said the sources.
When asked if he had informed minister for education about the situation while he was in Larkana on Sunday, he replied in negative. He had himself traveled twice to Karachi and conveyed the problem to the department but in vain, he said.
The sources said the education officer had conveyed in advance the situation to the section concerned in the education ministry but so far no arrangements had been made to overcome the problem.
KHAIRPUR: Students were not provided answer sheets for the first paper of primary and middle classes while some schools did not even have question papers, forcing teachers to write questions on blackboards.
The annual examination started from Monday in the district.
Frustrated students sat the exam under protest after buying answer sheets from their own pockets in order to save their academic year.
District Education Officer (primary) Liaquat Khaskheli said the answer copies could not be made available due to some problems. A meeting of district officials, which was convened to discuss the problem, had decided the examination be postponed for three days and rescheduled after making proper arrangements, he said.
A source in the district education department said the answer copies could not be printed because funds for stationery, printing of answer sheets and other material had not been released to the department yet.
The source said that some schools bought answer copies out of their own funds and elsewhere teachers and students pooled funds to arrange copies.
Khairpur Deputy Commissioner Munawar Mithiani denied reports that students had been made to pay extra fee for the exam material.
NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: Like other districts of upper Sindh, the Nausharo Feroze education department also failed to supply question papers and answer sheets to students during the annual examinations for primary to middle classes.
According to headmaster of the Government High School Naushaharo Feroze, Saleem Memon, the director of schools had informed all heads of schools at a recently held meeting that the department had no funds for getting question papers and answer sheets printed. They, therefore, should advise students to bring their own answer sheets, he said quoting the director.
He said that they were provided one question paper for each class with directions to either write it on blackboards for all to see or have it photocopied.
The headmaster of main primary school, Khadim Hussain Jokhio, said that many students were so poor they did not even get two rupees a day as their pocket money. How could they buy answer sheets or have question papers photocopied, he asked.
Published in Dawn March 10th, 2015