Matric exam centre changes | KU controller of exams resigned

Vigilant school administration pushes through venue shift after reports of impending cheating in Bin Qasim Matric exam centre
Karachi, Mar 24: Students of Class X science group of Galant Foundation, located in Gulshan-e-Hadeed Phase 1, were put through enormous mental stress and pressure thanks to uncertainty over the logistics of their official examination centre, which was settled only a day before exam, it was reliably learnt.

The controversy over the centre erupted after reports surfaced that massive cheating would be allowed by the administration of the approved centre, which was followed by a frantic attempt by the school administration to change the centre to stymie the plans to allow systemic cheating.

The students were preparing for their first paper (Islamiat) to be held on Tuesday (today), but remained distracted by the controversy over their centre. While on one hand, the principal of the school, Ms Farhat Sarfaraz, announced a last minute change in venue of the examination centre, on the other, officials of their previous examination centre, when approached, threatened to mark students absent if they went to any other examination centre.

Talking on the condition of anonymity, a student of Galant Foundation elaborated on the matter. "Government Boys Secondary School, Port Qasim, was made our examination centre as per the official date sheet of Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK). Our identification slips and attendance sheets were also sent to them by the BSEK." He further said that their principal discovered that there would be massive cheating and irregularities during the exam at the particular examination centre, therefore she contacted BSEK and asked them to change the centre. "She told us that our centre has now been shifted to Pakistan Steel Cadet College, and we should report there to take our exam on Tuesday," he said.

He further said that an official of the Government Boys Secondary School, Port Qasim, warned them that he would mark all of them absent since he has the official identification slips of each student. "When we decided that we should follow what our principal said, some of our class fellows went to the examination centre on Saturday, and the official showed them both the identification slips," he added. The students even made videos on their mobile phones to show it to principal, but she still insisted they must take the exam at PS Cadet College, not Port Qasim.

When contacted, Mrs Gulbaz, the owner of the school, confirmed that she had spoken to Syed Javed Iftikhar, Controller of Examination, BSEK, and he responded as per desire. She said that he took responsibility for the possible repercussions, and said that all students should sit for the exam at the Cadet College.

Sources from BSEK also confirmed that the examination centre of Galant Foundation has been changed to Cadet College. They also said that the officials from Government Boys Secondary School approached the board office and questioned why the centre was being changed without consulting them. However, their complaint was ignored given that the BSEK had already made the decision to change the venue. The News

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KU controller of exams resigned 'under duress'
Karachi: Karachi University controller of examinations Prof Maqsood Hussain, who was under pressure from different student groups, has tendered his resignation after reportedly failing to resist an elected legislator's insistence to issue him a graduation degree.

Sources on the campus requesting anonymity said that the legislator had appeared in the BA examination in 2003 but failed to clear two papers. He made another attempt in 2006 to pass the examination but could not clear the Urdu paper and scored 26 marks in it.

"Someone from among the employees handling the tabulation work favoured him to change the marks from 26 to 86," the sources said, adding that the tampering with the marks was detected after some time. However, the legislator continued to exert pressure on the examination department for the issuance of the BA degree to him.

The sources said that Prof Hussain had been resisting the legislator's insistence and also immense pressure from various student organisations affiliated to certain political parties for quite some time but finally decided to tender his resignation. The sources stated that the official had sent his resignation to the vice-chancellor a couple of days back and a decision whether to accept it or otherwise might be taken on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, senior teachers at the university have severely criticised such pressure tactics, and said if the trend was not curbed immediately, it would tarnish the image of this prestigious educational institution. Dawn

No classes at FUUAST on 24 March
Karachi: The teaching at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) will remain suspended on March 24. This was announced by the Registrar of the FUUAST in a statement on Sunday. However, the examinations would be conducted as per the schedule.

KU exam rescheduled
Karachi: The University of Karachi has notified through a press statement on Sunday that the examination of BS in Physiotherapy (Surgery–I) Third Year 2009, which was scheduled for March 18, has been postponed to March 28 at the same time and venue.

More research urged in marine biodiversity
Karachi: Pakistan needs more research in the conservation and management of marine biodiversity as well as developing research and training facilities for aquaculture development, University of Karachi (KU) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Pirzada Qasim Siddiqui said on Saturday.

He was addressing a seminar on "Marine biodiversity, aquaculture and fisheries" at KU, according to a press statement issued on Sunday.

The seminar was organized by the Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology under an international project wherein it is in partnership with two UK institutes and one Bangladeshi institute.

Dr Siddiqui proposed that regional universities such as Chittagong University, Iranian University and KU could start a regional club to address the trans-boundary issues as well as sharing ideas of new research and academic interest.

KU Faculty of Science Dean Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi said that higher education linkages have been pivotal to institutional and staff development. "Higher education is the key to the development of the country," she said.

Acting Director of British Council (Karachi) Nabeel Alvi expressed his satisfaction over the progress of the DelPHE project and admired the participation of various university departments in the initiatives to strengthen the research and development activities.

Marine Biology Director Dr Jamal Siddiqui presented details of the project and its achievements.

Dr Maruf Hossain gave a brief account of mutual research and training aspects of the partnership. He said that Bangladesh and Pakistan have a lot to share and exchange and that both can learn from each other's experiences.

Antom Immink from the Institute of Aquaculture University of Stirling emphasized that joint efforts were needed to make the aquaculture initiatives work in Pakistan. He mentioned that a lot of emphasis was being put in the shrimp hatchery establishment, which has a lot of problems. In his opinion finfish culture may be more suitable to start aquaculture in private sector as an alternate and source for poor fishermen's community living in the coastal areas.

An eminent scientist from Chittagong University Prof Nani Gopal Das delivered a thought provoking lecture and said that aquaculture has grown tremendously during the last few decades. He disclosed that 50% of the fishery production was now captured by the cultured fish. The News

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