Karachi HSC examination cheating | Education's sacrificial lamb
Teachers complain threats from cheating mafia
Karachi, May 05: A large numbers of teachers have disengaged themselves from
examination-related activities in the ongoing Higher Secondary Certificate
(HSC) Part-I & II Annual Examinations due to notice of threats from
cheating mafia, it was learnt on Monday.
A senior professor, on
condition of anonymity, said that despite the imposition of Section-144, the
cheating mafia, backed by some students' political wings, was threatening
the teachers for dire consequences. Mafia has also asked teachers to refrain
from meddling with the mafia's illegal affairs during the HSC papers, being held
at different colleges.
He said, "Government Degree College for Boys,
North Karachi, and Government Ship owners College North Nazimabad have been
reported as the most affected examination centres, where candidates on the back
of students' group use the unfair means. Director General of Colleges,
Sindh, Dr Rafiq Ahmed Siddiqui has failed to control corrupt elements even
in his neighbouring college, Government Boys College KMC, Nishtar Road.
shows the negligence of the authorities concerned. According to some reports,
external elements roam freely in the premises of Government Boys College KMC
to perform their unlawful activities during the exams."
According to a
statement issued by BIEK, a total of 32 candidates had been caught red-handedly
while using unfair means during fourth day of the HSC Part-I & II Annual
Examinations. BIEK Chairman, Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai, Director General Colleges
Sindh Dr Rafiq Ahmed Siddiqui, Deputy Controller Examination Javed Faruqi,
Deputy Secretary Imran Chishti and District Secretary Scout Muhammad Taqi
visited the examination centres.
BIEK Chairman, Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai, has
applauded the efforts of the teachers who are not considering the threats of
the criminals and fighting with them with the sense of responsibility. The Nation
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Education's sacrificial lamb
Harvard and MIT, as universities, boast larger endowment funds than the GDP of
many economies in the developing world.
These institutions produce some
of the finest research in the academic world today, both in terms of quality and
quantity. Is money the only force behind their success? According to Luc Weber
at the University of Geneva, financial resources do play a role, but what guides
their efficient allocation is institutional autonomy. In fact one of the main
objectives behind autonomy is control over the direction of a university's
expenditures and fiscal resources.
In 2002, the Higher Education
Commission decided to take the bold step of upgrading several colleges into
universities, granting them relative financial and administrative autonomy.
However, it stopped short of one crucial necessity - the separation of
administrative authority over intermediate level education (college) from that
of the university. The draft of the National Education Policy 2009, although now
put on hold, wisely recommends that such a distinction be made. It wants the
administration of higher secondary education to be transferred to the schools.
Item 38 on the Concurrent Legislative List in the Pakistani constitution
makes education a provincial subject, albeit incompletely (federal decisions can
overrule certain policy statements). Hence, provisions like Article 21 (ii) of
the Punjab Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Act, 1976 grant power
to the board to regulate the conditions of admission of candidates and their
eligibility to be graded. Universities clearly do not call the shots, but are
still expected to spend money, time and planning expertise assisting the board,
which has usually proven itself quite incompetent in both academics and
management. In the face of budget cuts, few research funds and mounting
inflation, isn't this a little too much to ask of seats of higher learning?
While there is already a dearth of sound faculty in public institutions,
whatever is available has to facilitate an exhausting schedule of classes
ranging from Intermediate to the Masters/MPhil and even PhD levels. In addition,
universities ask teachers to invigilate exams for courses they have not
instructed themselves, assuming that teachers invigilating their own classes
will indulge in partisan behaviour. This, unfortunately, casts doubt on the
integrity of those in a noble profession. It also leaves university-level
instructors/professors with inadequate time to pursue solid research consistent
with their interests, area(s) of specialisation or even the demands of the
With the HEC drawing up increasingly stringent requirements for
research output of university departments, it is unjust to expect university
teachers to manage such voluminous coursework and produce meaningful research.
Remarkable dichotomy exists between the leisurely pace of the annual
system of intermediate education - it culminates in only one end-of-year exam -
and the sustained, rigorous assessment methods of the semester system that
universities now follow. Juggling the two, many teachers lose interest in their
students at all levels. Kinnaird College is a good example of academic decline
due to this phenomenon and Lahore College for Women is not far behind.
Moreover, the consequences of applying blanket rules and regulations to
all levels of classes on campus are unsettling, even outright objectionable. At
Kinnaird College, no student can leave the premises before 1 pm. At Forman
Christian, all students still wear uniforms.
Perhaps the worst effect is
on the students of GC University Lahore, where the rules range from banning
camera mobile phones and jeans to shalwar kameez (the national dress!) for males
on campus. The registrar's office at GCU has gone so far as to register
terrorism charges against students, who challenged an attendance policy - at a
time when one can be illegally detained in black holes of the world for such
allegations. Are these acceptable on a university campus? Clearly, only if there
are enough 'kids' who need to be administered.
All this, it is claimed,
is done in the interest of 'campus propriety'. This begs the question of what
proper discipline means for an educational institution. Such authoritative
injunctions serve little purpose for students of BSc Honours or higher research
degrees. They are no longer at an age, where they ought to be dictated about the
finer details of life. If more structured discipline is demanded of students in
FSc/FA, it is only because they are still at a school-going age and by and
large, legally not even adults.
Universities train students for rigour
in research, not discipline. Indeed, it is the obsession with moral policing on
the campuses in Punjab that has lead to the stagnation of thought among
students', distorting the latter's perception of the role religion ought to play
in public life. It has pushed them into adopting an apathetic attitude towards
their surroundings. MAO and Civil Lines colleges will bear witness to this
Today's universities are entirely different entities, geared
towards a spirit of intense inquiry and advancement. They are no longer the
simple degree-awarding, classes-holding buildings of earlier years. Pakistani
society has a chance, through its universities, to resuscitate itself. Many of
the questions facing us today will inevitably find their answers in the minds of
thinking research students. But as long as the board keeps shunning its
responsibility and its dictation of higher secondary education procedures
continue to bog down seats of higher learning, change looks hard-pressed to
Yes, the intermediate system needs a drastic overhaul. But it is
not the job of autonomous colleges/universities to do it. And as long as they
cannot institute these changes, why should they have to bear the effects of the
hokum that provincial education decisions have become? -By Soufia A. Siddiqi (Dawn)
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Debating society inaugurated at JUW
Karachi: A debating society has been inaugurated at the Jinnah University for Women
(JUW), according to a press statement issued on Monday by the university. The
chief guest at the inauguration ceremony, Sindh Environment Secretary Mir
Hussain Ali appreciated the setting up of such a society, and said that this
will provide a platform to the students to master the art of public speaking,
the statement said.
JUW Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Riaz Ahmed Hashmi said
that after the establishment of the university, attention was being focused on
improving the academic, research, and administrative sides of the
He said various students' societies were also being
established at the university. Surayya Qamar, a JUW official, said that the
debating society will provide training to students. She said inter-department,
inter-faculty as well as inter-university contests will be organised under the
auspices of the this society. The News
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Engineering college for Khairpur approved
Khairpur: The Sindh government has approved an engineering college for
Khairpur and initially issued Rs6 million for its construction and running
Sources said admissions for the first term of academic year
2009-10 would be started soon in the building of the Bureau of Curriculum.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and People's Party MNA Nafisa
Shah had taken interest in the establishment of the engineering college to be
affiliated with Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Jamshoro.
MUET Vice-Chancellor Dr Abdul Qadeer and a team of the university
visited different places in Khairpur and surrounding areas on Sunday for
selecting a site to construct the engineering college.
Ahmed Ali Qureshi confirmed on Monday that a site near Police Training College,
Khairpur, had almost been finalised for the college.
He said that more
than 55 acres of land belonging to the revenue department was available in that
area, while the remaining 45 acres would be purchased to build the college and a
hostel on 100 acres of land.
He said that after formal approval of the
site, engineering experts of the MUET would prepare a feasibility report.
Sources said the institution would be named as Shaheed Benazir Bhutto
Engineering College. The college would facilitate engineering studies
particularly to the students from upper Sindh, including Sukkur, Shikarpur,
Jacobabad, Ghotki, Kandhkot and Kashmore. Dawn
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