BSEK examination centres & cheating mafia

BSEK surrenders to cheating mafia?
Karachi, March 25: The Board of Secondary Education, Karachi (BSEK) has relocated examination centres in various towns without providing any concrete justification for the move. This step has bred the notion among students that the Board had surrendered to the cheating mafia.

Sources said that the new examination centres would entertain "special candidates" in secure rooms, and the cheating mafia had invested handsome sums in this regard. Similarly, sources added, the Board has allowed schools that do not have proper infrastructure and space to entertain candidates to conduct examinations.

According to BSEK Chairman Anzar Hussain Zaidi, Rs400,000 had been allocated for inspection teams, who were assigned the task to visit and choose government and private schools that could serve as examination centres. No proper visits were conducted by these inspection teams, sources said.

On the other hand, several private schools visited the Board's office, and lodged complaints regarding the unavailability of adequate space to adjust all candidates. The BSEK, however, told them that examination centres cannot be changed under any condition.

One of such schools is the Prince Aly Boys Secondary School, which is situated at Main National Highway, Malir City, Shah Faisal Town. As many as 246 candidates of Class-IX and 234 candidates of Class-X are scheduled to take the upcoming exams in this school, but the building only has 10 class rooms.

Sources said that Board officials told the school that it would have to accommodate 52 extra candidates, despite the rules stipulating that no more than 20 students should be placed in one examination room. The management of the school then submitted an application to the BSEK Controller Examinations Kalim Asghar Kirmani, and apprised him that the school could not entertain more students than its capacity at any cost. "The Board should find some other place for these students," the school's management had written. No action was taken by the Board, sources maintained.

When we sought the opinion of the authorities concerned, a BSEK official present in the room of the examination controller, he argued that there would have been "some good reason" to change the examination centre, but could not cite a single example.

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Schools submit exam forms of over 1,000 more students
Karachi: While the issue surrounding the non-issuance of admit cards for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations, till now, seemed to have revolved around the Board of Secondary Education, Karachi (BSEK), the controversy deepened on Wednesday, as 24 schools submitted the examination forms of over 1,000 more students to the Board.

Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad had intervened on late Tuesday night in the matter of non-issuance of admit cards, and had issued directions for the postponement of SSC exams by two days.

Following the governor's intervention, the BSEK allowed students of private schools to deposit their examination forms at the BSEK Account Branch till 6pm on March 24 (Wednesday). The BSEK refused to accept any form from private candidates (those not associated with schools, Board officials said.

The allowance provided by the governor afforded the opportunity to schools to redress their alleged misdemeanours, and exam forms and documentation of over 1,000 more students were submitted on Wednesday. The Board is expected to issue their admit cards after 1pm on Thursday (today).

Meanwhile, despite the postponement ordered by the governor, hundreds of students proceeded to their assigned examination centres on Wednesday, only to find out that SSC exams had been rescheduled. Officials of BSEK and principals of a number of high schools, however, managed to escape punitive action over the fiasco of non-issuance of admit cards.

On their part, Board officials had decided to initiate action against those schools who failed to deposit their forms and other documentation on time. BSEK Chairman Anzar Hussain Zaidi absolved the Board of any blame, and claimed that the blame for the admit card fiasco lay squarely with the managements of private schools, as they failed to submit the forms and fees on time, which in turn, caused embarrassment to the students.

"Some private schools never submitted their examination forms on the given dates. In fact, they came to the Board's office after the last date for form submission had expired, and requested us to accept examination fees. This is totally unfair to other students, who had completed the process of submitting examination forms on time," Zaidi said.

Not all students were to blame: students of Class-IX at Government Major Ziauddin Abbasi Memorial Boys School in Nazimabad No.2 claimed to have suffered due to the mismanagement of their school's principal.

The students alleged that they had submitted their fees at school, but the school did not bother to deposit these amounts to the Board office. After the deadline had expired, the principal directed her students to go to BSEK, and deposit the examination forms with late fees, the students said.

Meanwhile, Zaidi claimed that this year was the first time ever that BSEK had taken a "solid stance" against elements who delayed the examination process, explaining that the management of various schools have been persisting with such a practice for many years. He said that the management of various schools receive a handsome amount in fees

from the children enrolled, but exam forms are never submitted on time to the Board. "Many of these schools also look for some discount in terms of the fees charged, some even ask for 100 per cent discount," he said.

The BSEK chairman narrated that a principal of a private school recently visited him, and requested him to waive the fees of all candidates from his school. "According to the principal, he had invested all examination fees for construction work at his school, and he had no money left to deposit the examination fees," he said.

These schools depend on their clerks or the mafia to obtain registration and renewed from the authorities concerned. Such kinds of people also offer their services to schools for acquire affiliation with the Board, enrolment of students and other works, Zaidi added.

However, affected students and parents continued to blame the Board for mishandling the matter of non-issuance of cards, claiming that admit cards were not provided to them/schools on time.

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Date for admission to degree classes extended
Karachi: The University of Karachi has extended the date for admission to the B.A., B.Sc., and B.Com. classes up to April 3 with a late fee of Rs1,000. This was announced by the registrar of the Karachi University, Prof. Muhammad Rais Alvi, on Wednesday. The university has also asked the principals of the affiliated colleges to forward a list of admissions to the Registrar latest by April 8. The news

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MSc (home economics) results
Karachi: The University of Karachi on Wednesday announced the results of MSc home economics annual examination-2009.

According to the KU notification, a total of 77 candidates appeared in the examination and over 71 per cent of them passed it. In a separate announcement, the university extended the last date for admission to BA, BSc and BCom to April 3 with a late fee of Rs1,000. App

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Scientists, researchers celebrate JPMA's 60th anniversary
Karachi: Luminaries in the field of medicine and science on Wednesday celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA), the country's first indexed journal of medical science.

Prof. Anwar Naseem, Adviser, Science, COMSTECH, the guest speaker on the occasion, paid glowing tributes to Prof. Sarwar Jehan Zubeiri (late), who for 30 consecutive years edited the journal and managed to gain international recognition for it.

"The success story of the JPMA is a source of satisfaction that excellence is still achievable in Pakistan," he commented.

Focussing on "Human Health, Public Awareness, and the Role of Medical Journals", Dr. Anwar Naseem said constant developments in the field of medicine and medical science was an emerging challenge for the editors and contributors of medical journals.

Appreciating the strict criterion adopted by the editorial board of the JPMA for publication of articles, he frequently referred to other extremely relevant challenges and required strategies for the medical journals in the country.

Dr. Naseem urged medical scientists and health care providers to realise the relevance of "knowledge management" in the backdrop of the knowledge explosion. "Even knowledge management has become a discipline," he said mentioning that a set of principles and tools were required to create awareness among people.

He also discussed difficulties faced by editors of journals with specific reference to assessing the needs and interests of the readers, maintenance of the integrity and confidentiality of authors' works, editorial freedom, and dealing with people more knowledgeable and more talent.

Dr Anwar Chaudhri, President, PMA Centre, felicitated the editor and editorial board for making merit and quality as the sole criterion for the journal. Earlier, Dr Fatema Jawwad, Editor of JPMA, said the journal, which started in 1953 led to increased awareness about ethics among the medical professionals and researchers.

Dr Jawwad said JPMA had a strict policy on plagiarism and that it also held workshops on medical writing, research methodology and ethics for the doctors. These, she said, were conducted on a regular basis in collaboration with Pakistan Medical Research Council (PMRC), PMA, AKUH, Bahria University, Hamdard University etc.

Other speakers, who in one or the way had remained associated with JPMA, appreciated the regularity maintained by JPMA. Prof. Masood Shaikh, Chairman, Editorial Board, in his concluding remarks, said that the journal may be expanded for inclusion of quality articles by larger number of authors belonging to the country. The news

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