MATRICULATION EXAM WOES – LHC orders BISE chairmen to provide exam records

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LAHORE – Lahore High Court Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed on Wednesday directed chairmen of all boards of intermediate and secondary education (BISE) in Punjab to file their affidavits and inform the court as to when class 10 students were provided roll number slips and how many students failed to sit in the examinations. Earlier, BISE Lahore Chairman Muhammad Akram Kashmiri and BISE Faisalabad Chairman Mumtaz Hussain with their counsel Sheikh Shahid Waheed appeared in court and claimed that all students, except a few, successfully sat in the examination. Muhammad Azhar Siddique, the petitioner, opposed their claim by saying that a large number of students and their parents were still protesting on roads against non-provision of roll number slips.
The boards’ chairmen undertook before the court that all such students who failed to appear in exams, will be given a chance so that their academic year could not be spoiled. The new date for their examination will be announced soon, they said. They further said that the Punjab government had introduced the new online system for exams to curb corruption and the ‘booti mafia’. Justice Saeed observed that the boards had to resolve minor issues, while the court was responsible for protecting basic rights of citizens and it could issue any order for the protection of the rights.
Siddique pointed out that corruption references were pending with the National Accountability Bureau against Dr Naeem, head of new online system of all boards. Dr Naeem had already been fired from Government College University and Punjab University of Information Technology on corruption charges, he added and questioned, “How a corrupt man can bring a change in the system?” The judge directed the boards’ chairmen to submit their affidavits and adjourned the hearing of the case for two weeks. Siddique had contended in his petition that all intermediate and secondary education boards of Punjab had changed the procedure of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) for class 10 exams.
He said the students needed time to understand the newly introduced pattern. He said the boards’ administrations seemed to have decided to create hurdles for students in these exams. The petitioner said that firstly the administrations introduced provision of Form-B as compulsory to send admissions. Later the administrations announced that students would receive admission forms through the internet, which also added to the sufferings of the students. He said this step also failed as no student was able to submit online admission forms.
He pointed out that a majority of the students could not get their roll number slips and had to visit board offices many times. He alleged that the students were forced to grease the palm of officials to get their roll number slips. The petitioner, therefore, prayed to the court to order all boards to withdraw the newly introduced pattern of MCQs and stay holding of the exams till a final decision on the petition.