KARACHI: The annual Matric Part-I and II examinations of science and general groups began on Wednesday, which are being taken by 354,131 students.
The Board of Secondary Education, Karachi (BSEK), has decided to take extra precautionary measures so that the exams could be held smoothly without incidents of cheating.
Use of mobile phones and photocopying machines within the vicinity of examination centres has been banned by the administration in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The commissioner, deputy commissioners, deputy inspectors general, sub-divisional magistrates, assistant commissioners and special vigilance teams will visit test centres during the exercise.
BSEK chairman Dr Saeeduddin told Dawn three cases of cheating were brought to their reporting cell, set up in the board office, by their vigilance teams on the first day of the exams.
“All the three found guilty were boys. It is only the beginning. I ask students not to use unfair means as they cannot escape our vigilant eyes,” he said.
354,131 test takers in general and science groups
The total number of candidates appearing in the exams this year is 354,131 of which there are 45,417 from the general group for whom 84 centres (47 for girls and 37 for boys) have been reserved.
For the 308,714 science candidates of whom 154,043 are appearing for class nine or part-1 exams and 154,671 for class 10 or part-II, there are some 393 centres reserved of which 215 are for boys and 178 for girls. The centres include 163 government and 230 private institutions.
The chairman said some incidents of copying were expected to happen as a huge number of candidates were taking the exams.
“We have requested the students to not bring mobile phones with them to the examination hall. If they do, they are expected to remove the batteries of their phones and place them where the invigilators can see them,” he said.
“Still,” he added, “the students were caught copying from cheat sheets, not their mobile phones.”
The exams are being held in two shifts. The morning shift is reserved for holding of the general group examinations while the afternoon shift is for the science group exams.
“Girls, too, cheat in exams,” said Ghazala Mursaleen, a teacher at one of the centres, Government Girls Higher Secondary School Pilot.
“Cheating has nothing to do with gender. It is a bad and dishonest thing which varies from student to student. The girls appearing for their exams at Pilot School refrain from cheating as we have a reputation for being very strict here. But during my career as a teacher I have heard of girls bringing in notes on small slips of paper hidden in their socks,” she said.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2018