Answer-sheets, marks on sale at Intermediate board Karachi

Karachi, July 21, 2008: In a practice that has put the very credibility of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) at stake, a chain of employees, including higher officials of the board, have not only been selling marks to candidates, but actually retailing already-submitted examination booklets that are yet to be marked.

During a month long investigation, it was reliably learnt, and thereinafter confirmed, that candidates can purchase their already-submitted examination copies from the BIEK, take the booklet home, and then add to or rewrite their paper to heart's content. The copy can then be submitted back to the board for marking. This opportunity is being availed by thousands of candidates vying to either score higher to get admission into top colleges or those wanting to merely pass their examinations.

Following a hint about the ongoing corruption, it was followed up with a month long investigation to delve into the operational structure of this corruption and expose the culprits behind the act.

During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that a candidate can buy an examination's answer booklet from particular employees of the board or their agents for at least Rs10,000 (per exam), if not more than that, and keep it for at least 24 hours.

However, those buying answer-booklets through agents and other sources are paying Rs20,000 or more. The most expensive answer-sheets are of the science group followed by commerce, while copies of the arts group go for the lowest.

If one is not satisfied with this option, there are plenty of other choices. The more a candidate pays, the better the opportunities they can avail. For example, if one wants a totally blank copy to rewrite the entire paper, it costs some Rs4,000 to Rs5,000 in addition to the Rs10,000 price of the original copy.

In the case of purchasing a blank copy, the candidate is issued the original copy that he or she had submitted to the invigilator in examination hall and a blank copy without any serial number. Obviously, the blank copy has no signature of invigilator nor does it have the stamp of examination centre.

Nonetheless, the candidate rewrites his paper, submits the fresh answer sheet, now completely filled in, to the board. The officials involved in this practice then add the serial number (as on the original copy) on the new sheet, and also take the responsibility of putting the examination centre's stamp and the invigilator's signature. This is how a blank answer-sheet is made into an original one while the original copy, submitted during the time of examination, can be disposed of by the candidate.

To make sure there can be no denials by the corrupt officials of the board later, we went through the process undercover and purchased an answer-sheet of an examination of the Arts Group against a payment of Rs20,000. The images are reproduced as evidence. This practice, it must be stressed, is happening in all sections - Science, Arts and Commerce, both part 1 and part 2, and private and regular exams. People in this chain have earned millions of rupees in this session alone.

The BIEK is able to indulge in this practice because once the invigilators collect the answer-sheets from students after the exam, they are sent to the board office. The answer-sheets are kept within the section they belong to and from there the dealing starts.

For the next three or four days, answer-sheets are sold to the candidates and then recollected by the board. Afterwards, a codifier encodes these answer-sheets and the right side of the front page, which displays things like serial number and examination centre, is torn and a code number is given to the copy which is sent to checkers.

The retailing of already submitted answer-sheets is not the only form of revenue for this chain. High-ups are also providing students with the opportunity to simply buy marks in particular subjects directly. The cost of this option is, obviously higher. For example, if one wants 90 out of 100 in mathematics, he can pay Rs25,000 to get it.

During the investigation it was also disclosed that students who have missed out on this opportunity can purchase marks via submitting a 'scrutiny form' once the result is announced. This option can be utilised to secure positions that the candidate may have missed out on narrowly.

This malpractice continues unchecked, there is a very high probability that incompetent and financially sound students will get good percentage and secure their seats in top engineering and medical colleges. If this happens, it will deprive a large number of deserving and talented students from getting admissions in the colleges of their choice.

Most of these copies have been bought by sons of government officials, a source in the BIEK said, adding that, in some cases, a single candidate has bought the answer-sheets for all the examinations he or she has appeared in.

Sources also revealed that a large number of copies that were sold were bought by sons and relatives of government officials and other influential persons. Giving an example, the source said that, in one case, the son of a government employee paid more than Rs0.1 million and bought the answer-sheets of all five subjects he appeared in.

A source also revealed that at least 500 copies were being sold per day during the science group examinations this year.

The process Karachi
During the investigation, a well-informed source, who pleaded anonymity, said that the entire payment is collected by one 'Asif,' a member of BIEK employees union. "Asif hands over the payment to Imran Chishti, Deputy Secretary, BIEK," the source said, adding, "Chishti is the front man of Chairman BIEK, Anwar Ahmed Zai." The source further said that Chishti then distributes the payment according to the following formula:

Rs5,000 per copy goes to BIEK Chairman

Rs2,000 per copy goes to section (E.g., pre-engineering, pre- medical, commerce etc) to which the copy belongs and is equally distributed among staff members involved

Rs1,000 per copy goes to the head of that section

Rs2,000 per copy goes to the employees union

Asif, an Upper Division Clerk (UDC) and a member of employees union of BIEK, who plays an important role in collecting the money from candidates, has been given a government vehicle with number plate GL 7262 even though he is not entitled to such a facility.

It's not possible: Chairman BIEK Karachi

When contacted, Chairman BIEK rubbished the allegations of corruption saying: "There is absolutely no possibility of that since we have a centralised assessment system which is being supervised by the controller examination."

Asked if someone from the board is involved in selling out copies to the candidates, Zai said, "The copies are sealed and sent to the two centres for centralised assessment and in between that no one opens the seal."

Asked if they have some kind of vigilance team or committee to monitor any irregularities, he said, "There is no need of a team since the kind of mechanism we have is very organised."

He emphasised, repeatedly, that there was no such process taking place, and that the notion that answer-sheets are being sold is nothing but a rumour. The News

Your Comments

"I couldnot have given one of my paper of 2nd year pre madical.what can i do now?give me information about reexams "
Name: shumaila

"When will marksheet of inter commerce-II karachi 2009 show on net? pleae tell any one. "
Name: Abeer khan

Name: muneeba
City, Country: karachi

"this investigation report is totally wrong"
Name: rafay
City, Country: karachi,pakistan



Post your Feedback about information available on this page.