Intermediate board issues record number of provisional admit cards

Karachi:28 April:An investigation by The News has found that the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) has issued a record number of provisional admit cards, raising doubts about the entire assessment process ahead of the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) examination scheduled to begin on Friday (today).
The probe discovered that the agent mafia within the education board is active again and helping candidates acquire provisional admit cards for Rs5,000 each without completing the formalities of registration and enrolment.

BIEK is conducting the first phase of the HSSC parts I and II examination 2017 from today for regular and external candidates of the pre-medical, pre-engineering, general science, home economics, medical technology and commerce disciplines.

The figures available with The News show an increase in the issuance of provisional admit cards, as this year the board has issued 11,335 more provisional admit cards in comparison with the statistics of the previous year.

Interestingly, the board has issued provisional admit cards without verification of the candidates and authentication of the documents submitted by them. Moreover, until the time this report was filed, many students were without a provisional admit card because they could not afford to pay for it.

According to this year’s figures, 1,655 commerce (external) candidates were issued provisional admit cards in comparison with last year’s 1,263 students. Similarly, 4,297 commerce (regular) candidates were issued provisional admit cards in comparison with last year’s 2,235 students.

As for pre-engineering candidates, 3,374 candidates were issued provisional admit cards this year in comparison with last year’s 1,347 students. And 2,029 pre-medical candidates were issued provisional admit cards in comparison with last year’s 706 students.

Reports were received that the board’s premises were filled with agents, who were helping candidates acquire provisional admit cards for Rs5,000 each without verification of their documents.

Previously, to discourage the agent mafia, BIEK used to accept examination forms directly from students or from their blood relatives to issue provisional admit cards.
Other inconsistencies

This would be the first time in the history of BIEK that the students would be provided with answer scripts without the signature of the board’s controller of examinations (CoE).

Earlier, BIEK used to provide answer scripts with the signature of the CoE to avoid addition of filled copies at the end of the paper.

The board had introduced a computerised admit card system – with scanned snap of the candidate, name of the college, date sheet, roll number, enrolment number, examination centre and barcode – to control cheating.

It was decided that separate examination centres would be designated for all the external students, including those seeking improvement of division, taking an exam for their remaining subjects, taking additional exams and former students not enrolled as regular candidates. This year, however, BIEK has mixed up all the categories, which could result in complications during the exams.

Moreover, candidates have not been given sufficient time to prepare for their exams, particularly science students who have been provided with only a single day of gap between their papers.

And it is not yet clear if the exam papers of science students would be based on the last model paper or the new model paper, causing confusion among the candidates.

Acting CoE’s version

When BIEK acting CoE Muhammad Jafar was contacted for comments on the agent mafia issue, he said: “What agent mafia? Even if an agent submitted documents against a bribe for issuing a provisional admit card, the candidate would take the exam himself or herself.”

Asked to respond on the record number of provisional admit cards issued, Jafar said there was nothing to worry about because the board would issue results only of those students who submit their requisite documents after the examination.

On the subject of answer scripts, the acting CoE said that before his appointment, the BIEK chairman had decided to issue answer scripts without the controller’s signature because the board could not afford to destroy expensive stationery if the CoE was replaced.

When Jafar was asked to comment on other inconsistencies, he said he did not have time to respond, adding that the BIEK chairman had already replied to all the queries during Wednesday’s news conference.The news.