RAWALPINDI: After the paper leak scandal rocked the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Rawalpindi (BISE), the Punjab government removed the its chairman, Dr Khalid Mehmood and suspended Controller Examination Shahinshah Babar Khan.

Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz constituted a three-member committee to inquire into the leakage of papers of mathematics (evening session) and chemistry, biology, computer science (morning session) of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Part-II Annual Examinations, 2022.

The committee is being led by Prof Dr Mohammad Shafiq, Director External Linkages, University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore while Director (Administration) DPI (Colleges) Lahore Sahibzada Faisal Khursheed and an expert in Cyber Crime to be nominated by the FIA would be its members.

According to the notification, the chief minister asked the committee to probe the issue and fixed the terms of reference for it. Under the terms, circumstances or reasons behind the leakage of the papers would be investigated, fix responsibility against the delinquents be fixed and a mechanism to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future be proposed.

Commissioner takes over acting charge, CM forms committee to inquire into incident; private schools’ body head warns of going to court

The committee shall submit its report containing the findings and recommendations within seven days.

On the other hand, Divisional Commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal has been appointed the acting chairman of BISE Rawalpindi for three months while Nasir Mehmood Awan, assistant professor Government Gordon College, has been assigned the additional charge of the post of Controller Examinations BISE, Rawalpindi, for a period of three months or till the arrival of a regular incumbent.

The Punjab government had suspended Controller Examination, BISE Rawalpindi, Shahinshah Babar Khan (BS-18) for a period of 90 days under Section 6 of PEEDA, Act 2006, with immediate effect.

The government also deputed three senior education department officials to assist the divisional commissioner to conduct the SSC (Part I & II) exams in a smooth and fair manner.

The officials are retired Prof Ghulam Mohammad Jhaggar, Consultant, University of Chakwal; Prof Liaquat Abbasi, Principal, Govt Hashmat Ali Islamia College, Rawalpindi; and Prof Hamid Asghar, Principal, Government Associate College Daultala Gujar Khan.

Divisional Commissioner Noorul Amin Mengal will get the charge of his additional office on Monday while Nasir Mehmood Awan has taken charge of his post.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Awan said it was decided that all examination centres would be closely monitored for which services of intelligence agencies had been sought. They have been asked to spread across the Rawalpindi Board area.

He said the board decided not to allow the examination centre to open the paper even a minute before commencement of the exam, adding that all students had been asked to reach the centre between 8am to 8:30am and the paper’s seal would be opened after all of them were seated in the hall. He said the same procedure would be applied for the second session as well.

He said strict disciplinary action would be taken against the violating examination staff. All candidates must be seatedin the examination centres before the time of the commencement of papers otherwise they would not be allowed to enter.

He said the board had deployed all its staff for inspection at various examination centres on an emergency basis and had also urged its mobile inspectors to spend maximum time in the examination centres.

Mr Awan said the board had decided to wage jihad against the WhatsApp mafia and arrest it on the spot, adding that mobile phones were not allowed for the candidates and even the staff.

Meanwhile, All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association, Rawalpindi Division, President Ibrar Ahmad Khan warned the government to withdraw the decision of cancellation of the papers otherwise the parents and teachers would approach the courts.

Speaking at a press conference at the Rawalpindi Press Club, Mr Khan said: “The Secretary Higher Education Punjab should immediately withdraw the decision of cancellation of papers, which were out, otherwise they would go to courts.”

He also demanded the provincial government to compensate for the loss of education during the last three years due to Covid-19 pandemic and private educational institutions be allowed to conduct summer camps for a limited period.

Ibrar Ahmad Khan said if a nation was to be destroyed, its education system must be ruined.

“Pakistan’s education system is in decline. The education sector, like other sectors, is on the brink of collapse due to corruption. Examinations are conducted to assess the performance and aptitude of students but in our country, over the last several decades, the trend of cheating in examinations has increased alarmingly,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2022

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