LAHORE: Students’ violent protests against the messed-up intermediate Part-I results compelled the Punjab government to cancel the results and come out with an assurance that the results would be revised and declared again within 45 days.
The provincial government cancelled the intermediate Part-I annual examination results for 2011 declared by all eight education boards on Oct 17. In Lahore alone 75, 267 candidates were declared unsuccessful. A student of the Government College University had committed suicide after his poor result.
The government also announced that the candidates who had doubts about their FA/FSc Part-II results, could apply for a rechecking without paying any fee. The boards will be bound to finalise and issue revised results within 20 days.
The results had shattered the hope and confidence of students as thousands of them rushed to the boards’ offices.
A large number of students staged demonstrations in front of Lahore board offices, blocked traffic for hours and chanted slogans against the board administration. The protesters also tried to break open the board office’s main gate, but they were forced to stay outside the building. They, however, pelted stones and broke windowpanes of offices.
In Gujranwala, scores of violent protesters burnt the office of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, including the computer section, and reduced some record to ashes.
They also held some board officials, including the chairman, hostage. Police, who were late in reacting to the situation, resorted to baton charge, teargas shelling and aerial firing and pushed the protesters out of the board premises. About 30 students and several board officials were injured. Students also blocked the Sialkot Road and GT Road for three hours, causing serious problems for commuters.
Officials told Dawn that it would be very difficult for the Gujranwala board to revise results in the wake of burning of computer section.
The Lahore board administration, now led by Punjab literacy and non-formal basic education department secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik, had attended complaints and in almost all cases, it had to revise the result cards. Consequently, the board management conducted a sample testing of declared results and found that the board had committed glaring mistakes in the results.
The computer-generated result cards, for example, showed no results for practical examinations and sometimes practical marks posted against economics paper that actually had no practical examination.
When contacted, Dr Malik said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif decided that the entire results should be revised and declare error-free. Admitting that there were thousands of cases where students had obtained results on their answer-scripts but the board failed to post them on result cards.
Answering a question, he said, there were more chances that most students would earn better marks. About students’ fate, he said, all students had already been promoted to intermediate Part-II classes.
Dr Malik also told Dawn that conflict between two stakeholders — computer consultant and officials supposed to implement the computerisation of results —within the board offices had been found as the root-cause of the mess-up in the intermediate results. “Both parties were brought on a table and asked to resolve differences and take care of the students,” he added. He hoped that the results from bar-coded answer-scripts would now be fed correctly for posting on result cards.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif chaired a meeting and expressed serious concerns over the problems faced by students as well as their parents. The chief minister issued directions to revise intermediate Part-I results and Pat-II results on request.
Mr Sharif also stated that the government would request the Lahore High Court for constitution of a Judicial Commission comprising High Court judges to probe the matter of messed-up results and identify the wrongdoers. He committed that the wrongdoers would be brought to book.