ISLAMABAD: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), the largest distance learning institution in the country, passed a deceased student in a 24-day workshop he was required to attend on campus.
According to sources, staff members routinely strike deals with students to mark them present at workshops they fail to attend.
However, evidence of such deals surfaced when an MA Arabic Student (name withheld) from Gujrat was marked present in a 24-day workshop which took place after his death.
Before the workshop commenced, the student contacted some officials at the AIOU Arabic Department and informed them that he was too unwell to attend the workshop.
According to sources, the officials offered to mark him present at the workshops, in exchange for Rs5,000.
The deal was made and the money dispatched.
However, the student passed away on August 1, 2014 but the officials did not find out. They followed through on the deal and marked him present at the workshop which began a few days after his death.
According to the recently announced result, the student with roll number Y574473 passed the 24-day workshop which took place after his death. The result card, available with Dawn, states that the student is now only required to appear for written exams.
According to rules, if a student is unable to attend both the exam and the workshop, the result states R/E/W (Reappear in Exam and Workshop) and if a student attends and passes the workshop but fails or does not appear in an exam, the result states R/E (Reappear in Exam).
An R/E is written next to the student’s name on the result card.
The student’s brother told Dawn, his brother died on August 1, 2014 but is not aware of any deals made between AIOU staff and his brother.
A faculty member told Dawn that the university employs a standard education system, which requires students to complete their assignments independently and attend learning workshops before appearing for examinations.
“Unfortunately AIOU has been unable to counter cheating methods such as copied assignments and false attendance records. Such practices have been carrying on, unabated, for the last many years,” he said.
“If we manage to put a stop to cheating, our university can produce best students,” the faculty member added.
When contacted, AIOU Controller Examination Sohail Nazir Rana, who recently took charge, confirmed that an R/E on a result statement means the student is only required to reappear in exams and has passed the workshop and assignments component.
Regarding the issue of the late student, he said the university will hold an inquiry to determine facts.
Published in Dawn April 7th, 2015