A test of candidates’ endurance as intermediate exams begin
Karachi: Hours-long power failures caused great hardships for tens of thousands of candidates of the annual intermediate examinations 2011 that began in the city on Monday.
The candidates of Class XII – Pre-Engineering, Pre-Medical, Home Economics and Medical Technology groups – appeared in the morning shift, while students of Class XII of the Commerce (Regular) Group sat the exams in the afternoon shift during the first phase of the Higher Secondary School Certificate (Part-I and II) annual examinations. The exams are being conducted by the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK).
However, the candidates in both shifts suffered hours-long unannounced power failures at almost every examination centre. The issue of electricity outages had already affected their preparations for the exams, and on Monday too students sweated heavily as they solved their papers without electricity in hot and humid conditions.
At least 11 candidates from both shifts were caught red-handed using unfair means by BIEK officials. The cases were referred to the committee to take the necessary action in this regard, Chairman BIEK Professor Anwar Ahmed Zai said.
In the first shift, the candidates of Class XII appeared in the paper of Pakistan Studies (Compulsory) from 9:30am to 11:30am, while the students of Commerce (Regular) appeared in the paper of Principle of Commerce from 2:30pm to 5:30pm in the afternoon shift. At least 27,240 candidates of Pre-Engineering, 17,051 students of Pre-Medical and 30,904 pupils of Commerce (Regular) Group took the exams.
There are 90 examination centres for the Science Group of which 47 centres have been established for male and 43 centres for female candidates in the morning shift. Meanwhile, 67 examination centres, including 34 centres for male and 33 for female candidates, have been established in the evening shift for the Commerce (Regular) Group.
The BIEK has also formed a ‘super vigilance team’ to monitor the examination process. The chairman BIEK, director general Colleges, regional director Colleges Karachi and senior professors were part of the team, Zai said.
During the visits to various examination centres, it was observed that students were sweating while solving their papers due to disruptions in the power supply to those centres.
It was also observed the law-enforcement personnel were not present at a number of examination centres. The board had asked the Sindh Home Department, in written, to provide security arrangements outside the examination centres to avoid external influence.
However, the Board’s request was not entertained and the BIEK feared that examination superintendent and other staff may face problems in the absence of police and rangers during the next papers. The chairman BIEK stressed upon the authority concerned to deploy the police and rangers at the examination centres. According to Zai, the BIEK had written an application to the KESC to exempt the examination centres from load shedding. Later on, the board received letters from the authorities concerned in which they ensured their support. It is likely that section 144 would be imposed around the examination centres from the next exam and the KESC would also try to avoid load shedding in the vicinity of the examination centres whereas the rangers would conduct patrolling around the examination centres in the city.
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