KARACHI: Several bodies of teachers, schools and colleges on Monday called upon the Sindh chief minister to take back a decision to outsource board examinations in Sindh to a private organisation.

They warned of strong protests if the decision was not reversed.

Representatives of the Sindh Professor and Lecturers Association (SPLA), All Sindh Schools and Colleges Association, Pakistan Teachers Organisation Sindh and Sindh Professors and Lectures Subject Specialist Association held a press conference against the provincial government’s move to outsource the matriculation and intermediate exams.

Rejecting the notification issued by the Sindh Universities and Board Department to outsource the exams to a private party, they said that the government should fix the problems of corruption and ad hocism in boards and fill vacant posts on merit.

They said that neither the teachers nor the authorities of the boards were taken into confidence before announcing this decision. They added that the students have suffered severe mental stress due to this decision.

SPLA and other bodies demand abolition of universities and boards dept

The speakers also raised questions whether a private organisation had enough capability, financial resources and manpower to be able to manage to conduct exams and assess the answer copies of around 800,000 students of matric and intermediate across Sindh.

They said that the Boards and Universities Department had become completely ineffective. Therefore, it should be abolished, and universities should be given under the control of the Sindh Higher Education Board (SHEC) and boards should be given under the control of the College Education Department, they added.

They said that situation was not so bad when the boards were under the administrative control of the Sindh governor.

However, ever since the controlling authority of the boards was transferred to the chief minister and he delegated it to the Boards and Universities Department, the business of issuing fake mark sheets, awarding marks and giving good grades in an unfair manner had reached its peak, they said.

The speakers said that the gravity of the situation could be gauged from the fact that the number of students who got A-1 grade had risen to 65,000 from 52,000 in the annual matriculation board exams.

Similarly, more than 20,000 candidates had failed to pass but only 3,000 of them appeared in the supplementary exams, they said. “Where did remaining 17,000 students go? The remaining seemed to have been quietly passed without examination,” they alleged.

One of the speakers claimed that questions were being raised as to how a daughter of Sindh Boards and Universities Minister Ismail Rahoo got the second position in the intermediate exams.

The teachers said they were not against innovation, so all measures taken for the betterment of education, including e-marking, would be supported at the appropriate time.

They also demanded that a separate minister be appointed for the College Education Department, which was being neglected due to the Education Minister Sardar Shah’s other ministerial engagements.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2023

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