Balochistan exam rescheduled, investigation under way

Posted by 13 March, 2010 (0) Comment

QUETTA, March 12: The Balochistan education department has rescheduled the annual matriculation examination after English and some other papers were leaked out on Thursday night.

“After initial inquiry we have decided to reschedule the date sheet for the exam, which will now commence on March 29,” Balochistan Education Minister Tahir Mehmood announced at a press conference here on Friday.

Provincial Education Secretary Tahir Munir Minhas was present.

The minister said the decision had been taken at meeting held to review the situation. It decided to formulate new papers of all subjects.

Mr Mehmood said that a committee, headed by the additional secretary of education Noorul Haq Baloch, was investigating the leakage of papers.

He said that after the printing of question papers at the secrecy branch of the Balochistan Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education the sealed papers were sent to superintendents of 79 examination centres through banks. He said the inquiry committee had asked the superintendents to send back the papers which had been cancelled.

“The papers found unsealed will identify the centre from where the papers were leaked out. Banks’ staff will also be questioned.”

Mr Mehmood said that if officials of the education department and the board were found involved in the leakage scandal, they would be punished.

He said the meeting had decided that in future sealed papers would be opened in the presence of a representative of the local administration.

The minister said that a commission comprising senior retired educationists would be set up to suggest ways of making the examination system and paper checking process transparent.

In reply to question, the minister said that findings of the inquiry committee would be made public before the start of the exam.
Source Dawn

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Board staff strike SSC exams may not be held on schedule

Posted by 23 February, 2010 (0) Comment

RAWALPINDI, Feb 22: Annual examination for secondary school certificate (SSC) may not be held according to schedule on March 13 because of strike of the employees of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE).

Even the initial scrutiny of the applications forms of the candidates could not be completed because of the strike over the withdrawal of admission fee from students of public institutions.

Workers of BISE Rawalpindi here on Monday blocked the 6th Road in front of their office and continued their protest against provincial government’s decision of the wavering the examination fees.

The workers fear that the decision will make the board financially vulnerable and have demanded the chief minister Punjab to take measures to rescue the examination bodies from going bankrupt as admission fees were not being received this year.

Talking to Dawn, BISE Employees Welfare Association general secretary Mehr Muhammad Akbar said the board usually started distributing roll number slips to the students two weeks before the starting the start of matriculation examination. He said the process was stalled because of the strike.

He said the government instead of resolving the issue was considering conducting the SSC examination by hiring university teachers and clerks from other departments if the strike continued.

Mr Akbar said government should redress grievances of the employees and that the examination conducted by the outsiders would not be successful as, he added, there were few days to prepare for the exercise.

He said about 124, 000 students had submitted examination forms with the board and it had to set up over 400 examination centers in four districts, besides arranging to convey question papers and answering sheets to the examination staff.

The representative of the board employees said they met Punjab Education Minister Mian Shujahur Rehman four days ago and the minister had assured them to arrange their meeting with the CM. But, no response has yet come from the minister.

Expressing solidarity with the staff of the BISE, representatives of Punjab Teachers Union announced that no school teacher would perform duties for upcoming SSC examinations across the province.

Source: Dawn Tuesday, 23 Feb, 2010

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Govt to engage retired employees for matric exams

Posted by 22 February, 2010 (0) Comment

LAHORE : THE Punjab government has adopted a different and difficult option to conduct the upcoming matriculation examinations by getting the services of retired employees and teachers across the province in the wake of ongoing agitation by employees of eight boards.

It has been decided to involve retired employees of the boards of intermediate and secondary education (BISEs), school and college teachers and examination staff of different universities to ensure the smooth and transparent conduct of exams as existing employees of the boards have been observing strike against the government.

It has further been decided that the FIRs will be registered against the protesting employees if they try to disrupt the conduct of exams besides initiation of disciplinary action against those instigating the employees to go on strike.

The decisions were made in a meeting chaired by Higher Education Secretary Ahad Khan Cheema and attended by Additional Secretary Chaudhry Akram, chairmen of BISEs, DPI Colleges, Additional DPI Colleges, Additional Controller and Deputy Controller of Exams from the Punjab University and other officials here on Sunday.

The employees of all the eight boars of the province have been protesting against the government for almost two weeks now for not releasing grants to the boards. They claim that the chief minister’s decision to waive off registration and examination fee of matric students of the government schools has created financial problems for the boards and if the government does not provide grants the boards may go bankrupt.

However, the officials of the department concerned believed that the employees were pressurizing the government as it had recently opposed 15 percent increase in medical allowance announced by the BISE, Lahore, and BISE, Faisalabad. They said the government had assured grants to boards besides a cabinet committee was also formed by the CM over the issue but the employees were reluctant to call off the strike.

According to the department officials, the boards’ employees had been enjoying better salaries and allowances than other government servants, adding that their demand to increase allowances was unjustified.

According to the sources, the Sunday meeting decided that BPS-17 and above officers of all the BISEs who were not a part of the ongoing protests would take over the data and record while police action would be initiated against those who would try to interfere or offer resistance.

They said show-cause notices had already been issued to 33 employees of different boards for protesting and instigating others to become part of strikes, adding that dozens of others would be served with show-cause notices on Monday (today). The Matriculation Annual Examination 2010 will simultaneously start on March 13, 2010, under eight boards, namely Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Rawalpindi, Multan, DG Khan and Bahawalpur.

When contacted, Higher Education Secretary Ahad Khan Cheema said anyone who tried to change the record or interfere in the conduct of exams would be dealt with strictly. He said the employees were not ready to end strike despite the fact that the CM had formed a cabinet committee regarding the issue.

“They continued blackmailing which is not acceptable to the government,” he said.

“These employees are already enjoying more allowances than other government servants,” he said, adding: “It has become their habit to observe strike ahead of exams to pressurise the government, however, it will not happen this time.”

To a question, Cheema said: “No more negotiations.” “The exams will be held as per schedule. We have made alternative arrangements and anybody who tried to disrupt smooth and transparent conduct of exam would face strict action.”

The Higher Education secretary further said that besides retired employees of boards, government teachers and examination staff of different universities would be involved for conduct of exams. He further said a meeting to review the situation and arrangements in connection with the exams would be held on a daily basis from Monday (today).

Source : The News Monday, February 22, 2010

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Matric exams Islamiat paper leaked out in wee hours

Posted by 25 March, 2009 (0) Comment

KARACHI: The alleged leaking of the matriculation examination paper of Islamiat has put a question mark on the credibility of the Board of Secondary Education (BSEK). The board seems to have failed in safeguarding the rights of hard working students. The Islamiat exam of class X Science Group was leaked in the wee hours of Tuesday via a cell phone. “The paper was apparently leaked by using the SMS service and was sent to candidates who had paid a certain amount,” sources in the BSEK revealed. A cell phone message that was used for disseminate the questionnaire was obtained by Daily Times and reads as follows:

‘The Islamiat Paper For Class (X) Board of Secondary Education Confirmed Paper B Surah Ehzab Ayat 22-24, Surah Mumtihina Ayat 7-9 Hadees 4 and 19, Quran ka taruf, fazeelat taharat ki ahmiat, fawaid ayat aur hadees ki nazar mein, sabr ki ahmiat aur shukar k fawaid, aili zindagi ki ahmiat and aulad k huqooq (abhi yeh 75 percent confirm hai). Yeh paper apne frndz ko frwrd krdo.’

A senior teacher at a government school, on the condition of anonymity said that conditions like these mentally disturb students. “There is no difference between a student who studies throughout the year and one who spends a few thousand rupees to get the paper illegally,” he said while alleging that a very influential group with the BSEK officials is involved in the assumed leaking of the papers.

When Daily Times contacted BSEK Controller of Examination Prof Javed Iftikhar to get his version over the alleged leaking of the paper, his cell phone was switched off. The calls to BSEK Secretary Asif Pasha Siddiqi’s phone were also unanswered.

Power outages continue in exam centres: Meanwhile, continued power breakdowns continued to irk the candidates during the exams. Despite the efforts made by the BSEK officials, Karachi Electric Supply Company failed to respond in a positive manner with leaving the students at the receiving end.

Source: Daily Times

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Punjab University BA BSc annual exams now from Feb 17

Posted by 20 November, 2008 (0) Comment

LAHORE : THE Punjab University has decided to take BA/BSc annual examinations 2009 one month earlier than the schedule, keeping in view the larger interests of the students.

According to a press release issued here on Wednesday, there was a clash in the dates of matric and intermediate examinations with BA/BSc exams, which, earlier, were to start from March 12. Due to lack of examination centres and supervisory staff and other related problems, the conduct of the exams was not possible before May 15 and if the exams were started from May 15, the students had to face problems in getting admissions to MA/MSc, besides dealing with the problem of loadshedding.

Controller Examinations Prof Zahid Karim Khan said that the PU Examinations Department had written a letter to the Education Department of the Punjab government in this regard and a meeting was called, attended by members of boards intermediate and secondary education and other stakeholders which, after thorough discussions, decided that the BA/BSc exams should be started from Feb 17 instead of March 12. He said all the colleges were informed in this regard 10 days ago and they had been instructed to complete BA/BSc courses.

Prof Zahid Karim further said the PU decided to start the exam on Feb 17, to facilitate the students in getting admissions to MA/MSc. He said 170,000 students, including 120,000 private students, appeared in the BA/BSc exams last year, adding that the minor change in the schedule would not affect the private students as they do preparations on their own while colleges had been informed in this regard about three and half months before the exams. The PU spokesman said as the PU was the largest examination conducting body in the country, therefore, the schedule of the exam had been very carefully revised keeping in view the larger interests of the students.

Source: The News Thursday, November 20, 2008

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Class 9, 10 guess, model papers selling like hot cakes

Posted by 22 February, 2008 (0) Comment

Lahore: Publishers and shopkeepers are doing a roaring business as the sale of different kinds of guess papers and model papers of various subjects of class IX and X is at peak in view of upcoming matriculation examination 2008.

A visit to the hub of stationery items of the country, Urdu Bazaar, showed that the trend of using guess papers and model papers was very high among students, both from the government and private schools.

Guess papers provide selection of a number of important questions from different exercises and sometimes some questions are marked as “sure shot” through which it is claimed that these questions surely appear in the examination.

Model papers offer different solved and unsolved exercises of different subjects and make students familiar with pattern of the question papers. Model papers are available in form of books for different subjects,

Price of each book of model papers range from Rs 75 to Rs 120 while that of guess papers range from Rs 20 to Rs 80 per set.

Students, teachers and academic circles have expressed different views in connection with use of guess papers and model papers.

Most of the students believe that guess papers prove a blessing for them, as they had to prepare only the selected and important parts of different subjects. Some teachers also believe in “guess works” theory and prepare especial guesses ahead of exams for their students.

However, academic circles are not in favour of guess papers and oppose its use by the students especially by those who solely depend on such “miraculous” material and do not cover their courses completely.

They also believe that guesswork discourages students to cover the syllabus comprehensively owing to which students learn nothing despite passing the examinations.

Makki, a shopkeeper at Urdu Bazaar, said the trend of using guess papers and model papers was very high among students especially those who were studying in government schools. He said extraordinary sale of guess papers was recorded a couple of weeks ago, before the examinations.

He further said demand of guess papers of intermediate classes was not as high among college students though some publishers do prepare them.

Shahbaz, a student, said guess papers were a great blessing for students, as they had to prepare only selected and important questions.

“I don’t entirely depend on guess papers but I do go through these papers before examinations since these offer most important question papers for examinations,” he added.

Another student said a few academies and tuition centres were popular in the City just because their guesswork was perfect. He said a rush of students can be seen outside such centres ahead of examinations.

“Different sets of guess work are prepared and are sold in form of photocopies by these academies,” he added.

Faisal, another student, narrating his own experience of using guess papers said sometimes almost all the questions are mentioned in the guess papers but students could not realise they have been befooled in the name of guess work.

Sajjad, a father of a student, said some teachers compel students to buy model papers and guess papers, he said by doing so, they wanted to ease their own burden.

He said it was sad that students were not discouraged from using guess papers.

“This is very dangerous as guess work certainly hampers academic activities of the students,” he added.

He criticised low quality printing and low quality paper, saying substandard material was being sold at higher prices.

Academic circles flayed the prevailing “guess-mania” among most of the students. They said teachers should play their role in creating awareness among students about negative aspects of relying on guesswork.

Source: The News , Feb 22, 2008

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