SSC exam cheating 'package'
Answer booklets for 2009 being used for current exams
Karachi, Apr 16: Despite tall claims and assurances made by the Board of Secondary Education,
Karachi (BSEK), the sale of blank answer booklets for the ongoing
Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Annual Examination-2010 is
continuing unabated, it was learned.
Sources said that the "cheating mafia" has done roaring business this year by
selling a "package" of blank answer booklets. Prospective buyers are
able to buy the package for Rs8,000, sources said, explaining that the
package consists of both the primary answer booklet and the
supplementary answer booklet.
The primary answer booklet, also
known as Copy A, costs Rs6, 000, while the supplementary answer
booklet, Copy B, is priced at Rs2,000, sources said. "The mafia don't
sell these booklets individually, and force their clients to purchase
the complete package for Rs8,000. This practice makes the business more
profitable," sources narrated.
Sources said that in the past,
the cheating mafia had access to more options, such as arranging
impersonators for 'favourite' candidates, making special rooms for
candidates (who would pay handsome amounts in return), enrolling people
who belong to other cities or provinces in ten papers (for combined
examinations), and tampering with grand totals, percentages and grades
of a candidate.
The Board had taken strict notice of
mismanagement that took place till last year, and made some changes to
the system to avoid the same practices this year, sources said. While
corruption in the past allegedly took place in connivance with Board
employees, this year the mafia could not resort to large-scale
cheating, and hence, kept their focus on the sale of blank answer
booklets and special rooms.
The cycle of fraud started at the
Board office, sources said, where mafia representatives and their
agents within the BSEK stamp answer booklets with particular serial
numbers. The same serial numbers are then marked on the answer booklets
arranged for prospective clients. "This option has some risks, but it
works," sources said.
Sources described that candidates
purchase blank answer booklets from agents of the mafia, and fill them
outside their examination centres. "A completed answer booklet is
supposed to be returned to a mafia representative during exam timings.
For instance, a student of the General Group would have to hand over
their booklets to the agent before noon. Likewise, candidates of the
Science Group have to return their answer booklets by 5pm," sources
Candidates who avail this "facility" are bound to return
their answer booklets on time, sources said, claiming that failure to
do so results in the mafia absolving themselves of any responsibility.
Once the mafia receives answer booklets from their clients, they pass
them on to their agents at BSEK, who adjust these answer booklets
according to serial numbers with other, genuine copies.
sources said, the Board is using answer booklets which were printed in
2009. These sheets contain bear the signatures of the previous and the
incumbent controller of examinations. When BSEK Secretary Hoor Bi
Mazhar was asked for his version, he said that the Board had a huge
quantity of leftover answering copies from last year, and the Board was
using them in the annual examinations this year rather than destroying
them. However, she added, the signature of Kalim Asghar Kirmani is also
present on such booklets. Sources claimed that the mafia was initially
trying to arrange special rooms in various centres across the city, but
they did not get a great response from schools. However, some
influential school managements succeeded in getting the examination
centres for their students changed, as per their own choice. Sources
disclosed that most examination centres were changed a couple of days
before the annual examinations commenced. The news
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Matric cheaters won't get away with it in Inter
Karachi: As the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK)
examinations are about to begin on April 27, students are voicing their
opinions about the differences they face in the standard of curriculum,
the regularity of classes, the format of exam papers, and even the
opportunities to cheat at exam centres compared to the secondary school
certificate (SSC) exams.
Comparing the massive difference
between the SSC and higher secondary certificate (HSC) curriculum,
Nimrah Siddiqui, a pre-medical student of HSC Part II at
Khatoon-e-Pakistan Government Degree College for Women said, "Both the
quantity and quality at the intermediate level is higher, with more
subjects and topics to cover. We were treated like mere babies at the
When asked what can be done to ensure that students
do not get the shock of their lives as they embark on their HSC
studies, Danyal Shaikh, a pre-engineering student of HSC Part II at Aga
Khan Higher Secondary School said, "The level of studies in SSC needs
to be raised to a certain standard, so that people are able to cope
with the higher level of education at the HSC level."
of attending tuition centres among college students has increased
manifold over the years. Most students rested
the blame for this trend onto the college teachers who they accused do
not give lectures regularly. Others admitted that they attend college
only to conduct practicals and hence rely on coaching centres. However,
Saroj Rizwan Khan, arts/humanities student of HSC Part II at BAMM PECHS
Government College for Girls, had a different view and said, "At PECHS,
which is a public college, regular classes are held daily and I, for
one, have never felt the need to take tuitions."
The BIEK is
introducing a new exam format this year, in which 70 percent of the
questions are based either on objectives or questions that require
short answers. On this recent change, Syeda Hiba Khalid an intermediate
part II student of the General Science group at Govt Degree Science and
Commerce College, Gulshan-e-Iqbal criticises, "The new format is
problematic for students. Under this pattern, they have to study the
entire syllabus to ensure that they do well at all the multiple choice
questions." The rest of the students opine that although it was
difficult at first to accept the new pattern, its rigorous nature is
going to help students at the university level, where exams are even
Commenting on the prevalent levels of cheating at
exam centres, Samad Salim, a pre-engineering student at Government
Degree Boys College, Gulzar-e-Hijri, explains, "In SSC there are a lot
of opportunities to cheat. Students, who pay invigilators money, have a
lot of options in their hands, from using notes to taking the exam in a
separate room. Even those who don't pay anything can get away with
asking answers to questions among each other." Nothing like this
happens at intermediate exam centres, Samad tells. Saroj reiterates
this. She says students get caught during Inter examinations, while
"anyone can have a field day during the matriculation examinations if
he or she pays the staff at the centre reasonably." Daily times
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Strategy to curb cheating: HSC exams to be held in two phases
Karachi: The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi has
decided to conduct the higher secondary school certificate (Part-I and
II) annual examinations in two phases to curb the use of unfair means
The exams for mainly science and home
economics groups will be conducted in morning shifts in the first phase
beginning on April 27. In the second phase commencing on May 24, the
exams for humanities and commerce group candidates will be held in both
morning and afternoon shifts.
The plan was discussed at a
board officials meeting, which was presided over by BIEK Chairman Prof
Anwar Ahmed Zai, held on Wednesday to chalk out a strategy for
effectively curbing the menace of use of unfair means.
Prof Zai said overall 250,000 candidates were likely to appear in the HSC annual exams.
He said around 100,000 candidates in science (pre-engineering and
pre-medical), science general, home economics and medical technology
groups and in the categories of special children, diploma in physical
education, improvement of marks/grades and additional subjects would
appear in the first phase of exams, scheduled to start on April 27.
He said that 100 examination centres had been set up at government
colleges, six at private colleges and four exam centres had been set up
at higher secondary schools for these candidates.
Prof Zai said that admit cards of the candidates appearing in the first
phase of the exams would be handed to their respective colleges on
The leftover regular candidates and those who had
failed in the last annual exams could submit exam forms on April 20, he
said. However, he made it clear that no form would be accepted beyond
Speaking about a monitoring mechanism, he said
that the BIEK had set up 50 supervisory teams each comprising two
officials to ensure transparency in the examinations. The teams would
visit exam centres and report the cases of use of unfair means, he
said, adding that each team would be required to visit two exam centres
The chairman explained that it would be mandatory upon
team members to be present at the exam centres at nine in the morning
so that they along with centre superintendents would sign the packets
containing question papers.
Moreover, group leaders who are
assi- gned the task of distributing papers at examination centers have
been divided into different zones so that armed guards could accompany
them from the BIEK office to their centres.
In addition to 50
supervisory teams, a high-powered vigilance team – comprising BIEK
chairman, director-general (colleges), regional director (colleges),
and representatives of secretary education and the board's controlling
authority – had also been formed, he said.
The vigilance team would be empowered to punish the culprits involved in cheating and unfair means on the spot, he added.
Meanwhile, the vigilance team of the Board of Secondary Education
Karachi chairman on Thursday booked 57 candidates for using unfair
means in the secondary school certificate (SSC) annual examinations,
besides detecting four impersonation cases. Dawn
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Centre changes: BSEK violating law?
Karachi: The practice of re-allotment examination centres was
widespread during the ongoing Secondary School Certificate (SSC)
examinations, but seemingly went unchecked by the Board of Secondary
Education, Karachi (BSEK).
Sources said that the
BSEK, as per the law, is allowed to change a particular examination
centre, but it cannot entertain any specific group or individuals with
respect to re-allotment of exam centres. "The practice of shifting
particular candidates or small groups of people from one examination
centre to another, and that too without proper justification, is
raising many questions," sources said. Citing a number of
irregularities, sources said that candidates considered 'favourites'
managed to get their examination centres changed, and did so without
providing any compelling reason or logic.
One such instance
was reported at Nadir Grammar School, Malir, where a candidate,
assigned roll number 426683, managed to get his examination centre
changed on medical grounds. The student was supposed to take his exams
at Prince Aly Boys Secondary School, Malir City, but eventually
appeared at the Jamia Millia Government Pilot Boys Secondary School,
As many as eight students of Adeel Academy,
Gulshan-e-Hadeed also managed to get their examination centre
transferred to Government Boys Secondary School, Liaquatabad No9,
Gulshan-e-Hadeed, where special arrangements were made for these
candidates, sources said.
In another anomaly, students of
Al-Qamar Academy, situated in Sir Syed Colony, Orangi Town, were
supposed to appear at the CDGK Government Girls Secondary School in
Tauheed Colony, Orangi Town. The students, however, managed to get
their examination centre changed to the PNG Secondary School in Iqbal
Baloch Colony, Orangi Town, but they eventually appeared for their
exams at their own school, Al-Qamar Academy. "This is an open violation
of BSEK rules and regulations," sources argued.
Board set Rana Liaquat Ali Khan Girls Secondary School as the
examination centre for students of Mashal Girls Secondary School, but
the management of the latter managed to get their examination centre
shifted to Saint Sachal Sarmast Secondary School.
irregularities detected last year at a number of schools in Bin Qasim
Town, continued unchecked this year as well. Aside from the trend of
high-priced 'special cheating rooms,' the malpractice of allotting the
same examination centres to students of similar schools during SSC
exams was also witnessed. The news
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Sindh varsities to have overseas campuses
Karachi: A decision has been taken in principle to establish
overseas campuses of Sindh's institutions of higher learning, including
Taking an initiative, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul
Ibad has held talks with the UAE government and the federal ministry of
education and received a positive response from the Emirates rulers,
who have pledged their all possible cooperation in this regard.
A strategy for the implementation of the plan came under discussion at a meeting held in the Governor's House.
of the Karachi University, NED University of Science and Technology,
Dow University of Health Sciences and Agriculture University, Tandojam,
as well as IBA director and heads of other educational institutions
attended the meeting.
He issued directives for the establishment
of a special cell at the Governor's House and appointment of a special
secretary as 'project coordination director'. App
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KU VC condoles Dr Israr's death
Vice Chancellor (VC), University of Karachi (KU), Prof Pirzada Qasim has
expressed grief sense on the sad demise of well-known religious
scholar, founder of Tanzeem-e-Islami and president of Anjuman-e-
Khuddam-ul-Quran, Dr Israr Ahmed Siddiqui. The VC said that he was an
honest person and practiced what he preached, along with having all
signs of a pious person. "His services to Islam and the Ummah are
unforgettable. It is an honour for us that Dr. Israr Ahmed Siddiqui was
also an alumnus of our university", the VC pointed out. The news
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Medical student 'commits suicide'
Karachi: A two-day old body of a medical student of Aga Khan University
Hospital was found hanging from the ceiling in a male hostel room on
Ishfaq Hussain, son of Ameer Ali was found from his hostel's single bed
room no 227 where as per other students he resided alone. The body was
found at around 3:20pm by the hostel's management and later they
informed the local police about the incident.
"The door of the
room was opened when we reached the site at around 4pm while the body
of the victim was hanging from the ceiling fan, an Inquiry Officer
Zubair said. "The stench of the decomposing body alerted
the neighbours and then the police were informed."
Inquiry officer quoting Sheikh said that the deceased's body did not have any mark of torture and died of suffocation.
was a second year student of AKUH, who came from Chitral. His family
members were reached and a burial was planned in Chitral for today
The officer further said that apparently the deceased
committed suicide but nothing could be said about it. "We are in
preliminary level of investigation to find out the definite cause
behind his death," said the officer. "It might also have been possible
that someone had hanged him to death due to some reason."
the hostel's management was contacted, they said, "We have reassured
all the students to come forth for any significant issues being faced
by them and counseling services would be provided as required to the
students and staff," they said. Daily times
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