- Students prohibited from bringing phones to exam centres.
- Phones, if found in the exam centre, will be confiscated.
- Probe into the paper leak issue underway.
The Sindh government on Tuesday decided to bar examination staff and students from using mobile phones and internet devices after a paper of the matriculation exam was leaked a day ago.
Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh on Universities and Boards Nisar Ahmad Khuhro, in a statement, said the students have also been prohibited from bringing cellphones to examination centres.
“Students and invigilation staff will be checked before entering the examination centres,” he said, adding that if a person is found having a cellphone inside the centre, it will be confiscated.
The advisor said a probe into the paper leak issue was underway, while the local administration has imposed Section 144 in the areas nearby the examination centres.
Matric board chairman sees conspiracy
A day earlier, the chairperson of the matric board suspected that the central control officers (CCOs) had a hand in the controversy surrounding the paper leak and delay in the delivery of the questionnaire.
Speaking to Geo News’ anchor Shahzeb Khanzada on his programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, Chairperson of the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) Syed Sharaf Ali Shah said it was the primary responsibility of CCOs to distribute the papers to the exam centres.
As students prepared to give their Physics exam on Monday, a controversy was created when the question paper was widely shared on social media, minutes after the exam began at 9:30am.
“The CCOs did not arrive (at the hub) to collect exam papers,” said the matric board chairperson. “The delay was caused when the board’s staff, due to the CCOs absence, delivered the papers to the examination centres,” he added.
Shah said it seemed as if the CCOs were involved in the conspiracy, adding that they will no longer be performing this duty.
“The CCOs orders have been cancelled. Now, the superintendents will collect papers from the hubs and deliver them to the exam centres,” he added.
Shah said the board has also increased the number of hubs from 11 to 18 to ensure timely delivery of the papers from now on.
“The paper was leaked due to administrative irregularities,” he said. “We will create a mechanism to prevent papers from leaking in the future,” added the matric board chairperson.
Speaking about cheating practices, the board’s chairperson said when Rangers personnel were deployed over the past couple of years at examination centres, the “copy culture” had reduced by a significant margin.
“This time, the presence of the same teachers and the police at the examination centres has allowed the copy culture,” he added.
The paper leak controversy
According to Geo News, the questionnaire was also available outside the examination centres after four minutes, exposing the lapses in the government’s administration and lax control.
There were reports that the paper started late at several examination centres in Karachi where the students and their parents expressed resentment over the situation.
However, responding to the reports, the board had announced that students will get the stipulated two hours to complete their paper where the examination started late.
Matric board chairperson Shah said a total of 348,249 students have registered for the ninth grade and matric exams in the science and general groups.
Of the 438 examination centres, 185 have been set up in government schools and 253 in private schools. 201 centres are for girls and 237 for boys.