Cheating culture would be eradicated in matric board exams

Karachi:March 29:Despite the tall claims of the provincial education minister that cheating culture would be eradicated in matric board exams, such malpractices continued unabated at exam centres on Wednesday as the annual Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Part I and II examinations began.

According to education department officials, the cheating mafia has turned to social media platforms to facilitate candidates and has introduced a number of WhatsApp and Facebook groups to supply cheating material.

Through these groups, question papers are being forwarded to students along with answers. Officials said that most of these groups were being operated in Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas or other districts, and while cases against the illegal practice were registered across the province on Wednesday, the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) fared better as none were reported from its centres.

Keeping a check

BSEK Chairman Dr Saeeduddin told The News that Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code has been implemented on exams centre and no one was allowed to run a photocopy shop or sell cheating material near them.

However, when questioned about the various WhatsApp and Facebook groups providing cheating material to students, he declined to comment.

On the first day of SSC annual exams, the chairman, accompanied by a team of reporters, visited two exam centres in Ibrahim Ali Bhai Government Girls School, North Nazimabad and Government Comprehensive Girls School, Nazimabad. He reportedly found no cheating or malpractice taking place there.

Speaking to the centres’ superintendents and other officers, Dr Saeeduddin said that the board has the full support of all institutions to hold impartial exams. He added that the superintendents were bound to not allow the entry of any candidates to the exam centres without checking their identification first.

The vigilance teams formed by the board would pay surprise visits to the centres on a daily basis to curb cheating, he said. Saeeduddin also directed the responsible staff to ensure all basic facilities are made available at examination centres so that students face no difficulties while solving their papers.

No action yet

As per information collected from the education department, across the province, facilitators and cheating students are using contact numbers of foreign cellular companies – mostly Indian – to hide their identity and circulate solved papers by using these social media groups. However, no steps have been taken to counter and shut down these groups so far.

Earlier on Monday, Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar, the education minister, had urged all stakeholders, including parents, teacher and civil society to discourage the trend of cheating in matric exams.

“No cell phones are allowed in examination centres and it is the duty of the heads concerned to discourage cheating culture in the exam centres. Those who failed to do so would be taken to task,” he had said.

He had also warned the cheating mafia that the Sindh government was committed to eradicating the menace at any cost and all officers of the concerned vigilance teams would pay surprise visits to examination centres to deter the practice.The news.