BSEK officials sell matric exam centres to mafias
'Special rooms' mushroom as officials sell matric exam centres to mafias
Karachi, April 07: Startling disclosures by students of class IX and X,
Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) officials, invigilators of different
schools and vigilance officers have revealed cheating on a colossal scale in Bin
Qasim Town alone during the ongoing annual examinations. The massive scale of
institutional abetment of such activities and the money involved has also
reached epidemic proportions.
'Special Rooms' have cropped up in almost
each and every school that has been made an examination centre. The practice of
setting up these high-priced rooms, offering all kinds of assistance and
allowing the use of unfair and illegal help while sitting for exam papers, has
reached such an alarming level that package 'deals' are also offered to
individual students as well as groups of students from particular schools -
based on the financial standing of the candidate – if the right amount is paid
by candidates to the owners/principals of the examination centres.
this list of venues offering this 'service' is the Government Boys Secondary
School (GBSS), Port Qasim, where all kinds special rooms have been set up to
facilitate not only those officially taking exam at this venue but also those
whose examination centres are in officially in different schools.
no 214430), a student of class X, Beacon House School System (BSS), Steel Town
Branch, has been given a separate room in GBSS Port Qasim. It has been learnt that J's parents paid no less than Rs45,000 to Centre Superintendent of
GBSS Port Qasim Shafi Shar for five papers in a 'special room'. As a result, J
sits in a separate room, which remains locked from 9am till he completes his
paper, along with his mother where all kind of materials and texts are supplied
to him. He is even allowed to write his exam till 12.30pm despite the fact that
the official end time of papers is noon.
Compounding the matter is that
J's examination centre falls in GBSS Pipri, yet he is taking exam in GBSS Port
Qasim. Two other students, S and R, are also sitting for their exams in a
special room at GBSS Port Qasim while their official examination centre is in
Cadet College Pakistan Steel. Both have paid Rs7,000 each to Shar to avail this
facility for five papers.
The most expensive special room at GBSS Port
Qasim is a group purchase belonging to a well-known school chain, the Educators.
Having paid a collective sum of Rs140,000, the chain has been given an entire
room for 40 of their students sitting for their examinations at the
controversial centre. Other similar purchases of entire rooms at the centre,
catering to groups of students, have been auctioned for Rs125,000 and less –
depending on the number of students and facilities.
Shafi Shar, it has
been learnt, has earned more than Rs3 million from class X students
alone. The following schools have their examination centre at Port Qasim:
Pioneer Academy, Gulshan-e-Hadeed; Best Academy, Gulshan-e-Hadeed; Educators,
Gulshan-e-Hadeed; Bell Mount School, Gulshan-e-Hadeed; Young Scholars Academy,
Gulshan-e-Hadeed; Al Hadeed Public Secondary School, Gulshan-e-Hadeed; The
Montessori Home and Grammar School, Steel Town.
He has also created
special rooms for class IX students, offering the same facilities for an equal
amount. The following schools have their examination centres for class IX at
GBSS, Port Qasim: BSS, Steel Town Branch; Pioneer Academy Grammar School, Steel
Town; Al Hadeed Grammar, Gulshan-e-Hadeed; Roshan Tara School, Gulshan-e-Hadeed;
Educators, Gulshan-e-Hadeed; Best Academy, Gulshan-e-Hadeed; Bell Mount Public
School, Gulshan-e-Hadeed and two to three more schools from nearby
While Shar was successful in netting male customers from top
private schools in Gulshan-e-Hadeed, his relative, Nisar Shar, got a hold of
prospective female candidates of the same schools.
Nisar Shar is
supervising the exams at Saint Sachal Sarmast Academy, Steel Town, which is
hosting the exams for female candidates of Educators, The Montessori Home,
Galant Foundation School, Grammar School, Steel Town, Al Hadeed Grammar School,
Young Scholars Academy Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Best Academy Gulshan-e-Hadeed and
They have set up two special rooms with different rates. For one
room they are charging between Rs500 to Rs1,000 while in the other, which
remains locked during the exam, each candidate has paid between Rs2,000 to
Another school that has set up 'special rooms' for SSC
candidates is GBSS, Pipri. Class X students of BSS, Steel Town, have their
examination centre at this school. Here, rooms have been purchased, each student
having paid Rs10,000 for all five papers.
In one indicator of this
practice, the centre's assistant superintendent, Imtiaz Naich, has maneuvered
his way to get his nephew Faisal Naich, a student of Howard Grammar School, to
take his exam in GBSS, Pipri, while the candidate's official exam centre is in
Pakistan Steel Cadet College.
Pakistan Model Higher Secondary School,
Gulshan-e-Hadeed, also has 'special rooms' for SCC candidates. The school is
being run by the Vice-President, Al Hadeed All Private Schools Association.
Rs2,500 per student has been charged by the school owner from each student that
is availing the option of a 'special room'.
According to sources, in one
instance, a student who purchased a place in a 'special room' was stuck on a
question in the physics paper and none of the teachers present there could help
him solve it. He was then allowed to call his own teacher to the exam centre,
who then solved the question on blackboard.
The owner of Adeel
Educational Complex School System, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, has deputed class XI
students of own coaching centre as invigilators. Here, not only is the owner
charging students for special facilities(Rs2,000 per student for five papers),
but his underage invigilators, too, are charging Rs300 to Rs500 per exam per
The owner of DJ Grammar School, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, an
examination centre for female candidates has clearly conveyed it to candidates
that he would not allow any cheating if they don't pay for the facility. While
those already paid are given all kinds of illegal stuff to cheat in exam.
Moreover, many of the students taking exam at this centre are their own students
in evening coaching centre. Their own teachers are their invigilators and
offering great assistance and use of unfair means to them.
schools have been made examination centres for both class IX and class X with
more than 0.1 million for class X students alone. This report covered only parts
of Bin Qasim Town.
Desperate students resorting to theft to finance cheating
Karachi: When contacted, Al Hadeed All Private Schools Association
President Rao Safdar, admitted to the above facts, but said that his complaints
to BSEK on the issue fell on deaf ears. He admitted that three of his school's
(Howard Grammar School) students have been sitting for their exams at schools
other than their official examination centres.
He said that he called a
meeting of centre superintendents (CS) and told them to at least eliminate the
money factory and 'special room' system. According to Safdar, he was assured of
cooperation. However, he added, they did not keep their promise.
Safdar said that, in the meeting, he even told school owners that one
student, whose parents declined to fund unfair means, had in desperation stolen
his mother's gold chain to give to the CS to allow him to sit in a 'special
He further said that in two more incidents SSC students have
broken in to locked houses to steal money for the same purpose. Asked if he
could identify these students, he declined.
When asked about Pakistan
Model School, which is run by the vice president of his association, he admitted
the existence of 'special rooms' but declined to comment on them. Asked if he
complained to BSEK about his three students sitting for their exams at GBSS Port
Qasim and Pipri, he claimed that he did but it was to no avail. However,
reliable sources confirmed that the private school association itself has stakes
in the money generated through illegal means during exams.
BSEK involvement alleged
Karachi: Well-informed sources said that this is all made
possible because Shafi Shar is paying bribes to Deputy Controller BSEK, Imran
Butt who is responsible for preparing the list of examination centres and making
any changes later on.
Sources further said that Shar has paid Rs30,000 to
Rs40,000 to Butt for each school assigned to his examination centre. It is also
worth mentioning here that the examination centre of The Montessori Home was
initially White House Grammar School but Shar bribed Butt and got it changed to
GBSS Port Qasim at last moment.
The name of the examination centre on
their admit cards is still listed as White House Grammar School. We tried
to contact Butt several times but he did not answer his phone despite repeated
attempts. Controller Examination BSEK Javed Iftikhar's mobile was also switched
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Cadet colleges involved in financial irregularities
Karachi: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday detected "serious
financial irregularities" in audit (year 2003-04) of cadet colleges in Sindh.
The discrepancies amounted to over Rs10 million and the PAC head observed that
these colleges were acting as if they were beyond the rules of the provincial
The PAC was informed that Cadet College Petaro (CCP)
continues to give irregular conveyance allowance to employees who live in its
premises despite detection of this irregularity in the year 2004. The PAC
meeting held at the Sindh Assembly also detected irregularities in the Sindhi
Adabi Board (SAB) Jamshoro and the Sindh Tourism Development Corporation
The CCP spent Rs2.435 million on purchases and works without
inviting tenders. This was a violation of rules which suggest that all demands
valuing Rs100,000 and above should be advertised. The college administration was
of the view that tenders were not needed for "expenditures of a recurring
nature" and the purchases were made through a purchase committee. This reply,
however, was not deemed satisfactory, and Sindh Education Secretary Rizwan Memon
maintained that cadet colleges had to follow the same government
An audit official pointed out that institutions associated with
the armed forces tended to invite tenders even for dry-cleaners and wondered why
these colleges, which to some extent were associated with the armed forces, were
not following the prescribed rules. PAC member, MPA Shama Mithani, observed that
these colleges were acting as if they were beyond rules.
PAC Chairman Jam
Tamachi observed that no audit report had been presented before the assembly for
the last 14 years and if they continued to defer paras, they might not complete
the audit of even one year. The education secretary suggested that the cadet
college should be asked to submit its record for audit.
the para and instructed that a letter be written to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim
Ali Shah, Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan and the principal of the cadet
The secretary said these colleges were run through their "board
of governors" and it might be advisable to instruct this board for an audit as
well. The audit official lamented that they had pointed out this irregularity in
December 2004 and it appeared that there was no liaison or coordination between
the cadet colleges and the education department.
Tamachi said a letter
should also be sent to the principal for appearing before the next meeting and
responsibility should be fixed over this irregularity. The PAC also detected
that the CCP had given conveyance allowance amounting to Rs1.124 million to its
employees. This, he said, was not admissible, because these employees lived
within the college premises.
The college administration contended that
conveyance allowance was admissible according to a notification issued on July
5, 1992, by the finance department. The education secretary pointed out that the
college administration had not presented a copy of the notification.
Finance Director Bukhari said he could not present the notification on time
because his mother passed away. When the audit official said they had detected
irregular payments in 2003 and that it continued till 2009, the PAC head
instructed that a letter be written to the CM and the governor to immediately
stop this irregular payment of conveyance allowance. It should also be
ascertained as to why this irregularity continued, he said.
the Sindhi Adabi Board (SAB) had spent Rs834,599 under various heads by
"splitting up" purchase orders to "avoid tenders and obtaining sanctions from
higher authorities." This was a violation of the rules concerned. The education
secretary said that the SAB claimed that they had a record of these
transactions, but they had not presented it. The PAC deferred this para for the
next meeting likely to be held on April 28.
The PAC dropped a para about
the Sindh Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) because Culture Secretary Shams
Jafrani presented vouchers of advances amounting to Rs371,165.
pointed out that the CCP did not deduct income tax worth Rs214,079 at source
over the expenditure of Rs6.117 million on various supplies and purchases, which
was violation of the rules. The CCP director finance said they had a record of
income tax and could present it during the next meeting.
The PAC was
informed that the Cadet College Sanghar had spent Rs4.755 million but had not
produced vouchers. College Principal Capt. (retd) Altaf Ahmed said the condition
of the college was bad and at one time in 1999, it was being turned into a
veterinary centre. He said this amount was spent in 1999 and not a single
employee of the college of that era was available now while the then-principal
had passed away. The PAC instructed the education secretary to hold an inquiry
and present the report during the next meeting on April 28.
dropped a para about the STDC when the culture secretary said that its board was
set up in 1991 and had not convened any meetings till 2008 and no share was
floated in the market.
'University is using Urdu for teaching as well as correspondence'
Karachi: Dr Muhammad Qaiser, Vice Chancellor, Federal Urdu University of
Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) denied the allegation that his university
is not doing enough to use Urdu in the teaching process. "I am surprised at the
premise that FUUAST is not serious about using the national language. All the
official correspondence is in Urdu. Also, the forms for the recruitment of
prospective teaching and non-teaching staff have been printed in Urdu. The books
being published in Urdu includes Physics and other books," he explained.
Dr Qaiser said that the
correspondence with the Ministry of Education as well as other ministries in
Islamabad is also in Urdu and he has requested the Higher Education Commission
(HEC) to help FUUAST organise an Urdu Conference.
However, Dr Mahboob
Uddin, a former Professor at the University of Karachi (KU) and currently
Chancellor of a Private University disagrees with Dr Qaiser's premise. "I think
FUUAST officials and teachers have no conviction about the use of Urdu in their
university. I visited the university recently and was appalled to read some
MPhil and PhD theses in the department. The theses were in English, badly
written and had grammatical mistakes. The absence of Urdu was a question mark on
the role of an Urdu University. When I pointed out the mistakes to a teacher, he
remained unfazed and said that everyone commits such mistakes," he
Dr Mahboob further said that FUUAST's claims as the only university
that was teaching in Urdu is superfluous unless all the subjects are taught in
Urdu. "All the lectures, abstracts and synopses should be in Urdu. The teaching
hours may be less in comparison to other universities but the teachers, who
translate, compile or write textbooks in Urdu should be given some extra
allowance as a reward," he explained.
In this regard, we posed two
questions to a teacher of a department in the science faculty of this university
- What are you teaching? And what is your opinion about the teaching methodology
in your university? Unfortunately, her reply was vague and she did not seem to
understand the questions.
Meanwhile, Azmat Ali Khan, former Director of
Publications in the Pakistan Council for Scientific & Industrial Research
(PCSIR) and a strong advocate for the teaching of science and better use of Urdu
in the country, had grave concerns about the status of Urdu in the university.
"How many students have written their theses in Urdu for their Masters, MPhil
and PhD? I think the university should have good knowledge of Urdu and the
teachers should also be willing to teach, prepare their courses and use Urdu,"
Khan, a science graduate from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)
and founder of the Geology Department in Urdu College (in the late 50s), thought
that the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) should consider the performance of
teachers on the basis of their work in using Urdu during the lectures,
translation, compilation and writing of textbooks in the national language. "How
can Urdu be adopted at the national level if we continue to shy away from using
it?" he pointed out.
We also spoke to several students at the
FUUAST, who were unable to talk cohesively in one language, be it Urdu or
English. Most of the time, they switched from Urdu to English and vice versa.
Dr Aslam Farrukhi, noted Urdu author, critic, poet and linguist, who
currently heads the Bureau of Composition, Compilation and Translation at
FUUAST, firmly believes that Urdu has the power and capacity to teach science,
technology, medicine and other subjects. "People have written their theses in
Urdu. Ashrafi Sahib (I do not remember his full name) had done his PhD in
Zoology under the supervision of Dr Afzaal Hussain Quadri. There are many
others", he said. He also cited the example of Moeenul Jarraheen a medical
(Anatomy) atlas that was translated into Urdu from English in 1845 (in
Calcutta). "You will be surprised to see the book. All the medical terms are
translated in Urdu and pictures of the parts of human body are astonishingly
clear, showing details. It actually looks like it has been published recently,"
Dr Farrukhi feels FUUAST is on track when it comes to using
Urdu as the language of instruction. In fact, he said, the language can be
implemented in every walk of life if the government issues an order that Urdu
will be used in the offices.
City School students celebrate Jashan-e-Milad-un-Nabi
Karachi: The City School (TCS) TCK-I, North Nazimabad Branch recently
organised a 'Milad' as an annual function at the 'Rose Garden'.
function started with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. The first
rendition was performed by the 'Playgroup' class – the pre-Nursery grade
students. The impressive coordination exhibited by these 3-4 year olds amply
demonstrated the effort of not only the children but also their teachers, who
greatly contributed to the whole programme.
The next segment witnessed
recitation by a group from the 'Nursery' class, and yet again, the organised
performance showed discipline. Moreover, the melodies recitation of the Naat
inspired the audience into silent attention.
The 'Kindergarten' students
who came next also performed their parts elegantly, and were greatly appreciated
by the audience as much for the symmetrical arrangement of those who recited as
for the tranquil nature of their recitation.
Towards the concluding part
of the programme, a group of teachers recited the last Naat of the Milad. The
guest at the occasion, Ms. Tabinda Lari, also recited a few Naats towards the
conclusion of the event. -By Nasira Shamim
'The Prolific Pakistan'
City School (Boys) Prep North Nazimabad was transformed into
mini-Pakistan, as students recently arranged 'The Prolific Pakistan' event,
bringing together all cultures, colours and traditions of the country, and
showing them in their own individual existence and glory.
The show had
displays of various items of local industries, and highlighted the unmatched
skills of our craftsmen. Students were dressed up in their own traditional and
provincial dresses, and greeted visitors in their own regional
A live stage performance added further colour to the event as
students presented their skits and songs to pay tribute to our country and our
legends. The main objectives of the event were to create a feeling of patriotism
and ownership amongst students, and to make them aware of the rich and
multi-faceted heritage of our country.
More than 600 people including
students, teachers, parents, visitors and guests that included former test
cricketer Mansoor Akhter, renowned celebrity and host Dr Shaista Wahidi and
Director of The City School, Southern Region Mrs Amrana Ahmed enjoyed the
evening with the students. -By Freeha Tahir (The News)
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