Using unfair means and cheating in annual examinations is on the rise in Sindh primarily due to bad governance of the authorities concerned. Despite wider use of computers in Pakistan including Sindh, old examination method of writing with hand on script copies is still in vogue, which provides chances of cheating. However, using computer-based objective and multi-choice exam method if introduced could eliminate the copy culture on one hand and ensure instant exam results on the other.
Sources said that the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education (BISE) Larkana and BISE Hyderabad are being headed by an influential officer who is said to be a junior officer of the education department, albeit he enjoys backing and support of a local MNA. It may be recalled that the seat of chairman of BISE Hyderabad Board is a BPS-20 post. The BISE Hyderabad covers 10 districts and BISE Larkana have jurisdiction over five districts.
Districts covered by Hyderabad Board include Matiari, Dadu, Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Jamshoro, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Thatta, Sujawal and Nawabshah.
The posting of junior officer on a senior post shows the dearth of senior officers in Sindh education department, or its unwillingness to shun the notorious own pay scale system, say the sources, adding it is very difficult for one officer to look after 15 districts and stop copy culture there. They claimed that the chairman was originally an associated professor of Physics working in BPS-19. They said more than 50 officers were working in BPS-20 but they were sidelined due to want of strong political backing.
The sources said likewise BISE Larkana examination controller and secretary were junior officers of BPS-18 but working on senior BPS-19 posts.
Another factor affecting the examination system is posting of ‘externals’ who are appointed to supervise these examinations and are paid Rs 12,000 whereas invigilators are paid about Rs 170 per day/paper. The externals are often seen sitting in their offices while the invigilators are seen standing in the examination rooms or halls for three continuous hours supervising the students. Most of the externals are appointed on the recommendation of teachers’ associations ignoring the merit.
Cheating culture is the direct outcome of bad governance and it could not be checked unless the rulers improve their style of governance and take serious steps against bribery and political favouritism.