No cheating in Inter exam yesterday, claims BIEK
That time of the year again folks, the exams touted as the make or break stage of any young student’s life are underway again. Inter exams for Pre-Medical, Pre-Engineering, Computer and Home Economics sections all kick started yesterday, reportedly without any “untoward” incident. Interestingly, authorities this time have enforced Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code to help prevent the presence of outsiders within a radius of 60 yards of the examination centres and to avoid any law and order situation. However, centre superintendents told Dawn police force was not deployed at various centers making the implementation of the section 144 impossible. Most interesting, however, was the claim by a spokesperson of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi that not a single case of cheating was reported in any of 41 centres across the city.
The BIEK spokesperson even gave a reason for this. Apparently, yesterday was the Islamiat paper and students normally don’t use unfair means in Islalmiat papers. “Most of the unfair means cases are normally detected on those days when papers of English, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics subjects are held” he reasoned. Why, what an innocent theory! I wish that was true. Certainly from my recollection of my inter exams (and that wasn’t that long ago so I suppose we can take them to be a sufficient indicator of how things might be right now) cheating was a norm in each and every single paper, including of course, Islamiat. In fact, sometimes the invigilators were themselves either directly or indirectly involved in helping students cheat. It was quite common really, so common that you didn’t even feel uproar about it taking place.
I still remember my shock at seeing such state of affairs the first time I appeared for board exams in 9th grade. Coming from a school were cheating was made impossible by the strictest of examinations environments for even minor class tests, seeing such blatant cheating in board centres quite literally left us in disbelief, especially when on occasions, teachers asked us for answers for objectives so they could help other students!
Of course by the time we’d passed through Metric, moved onto government colleges, tuitions and witnessed what happens in all these places, we realised what we were taught at our school was an anomaly rather than the norm. So by the time we appeared for our intermediates, we had become considerably de-sensitised, some of the opportunists and weak willed amongst even resorted to minor cheating them selves.
By now, as I’m in university and have gained plenty of experience in not only appearing in exams held under public boards but also exposure to all kinds of students in both public and private educational institutions, I’ve pretty much resigned to the accept that honesty is not part of the student’s psyche here. Its okay to put proxy attendance, its okay to cheat, its okay to plagiarise assignments, basically if you have a good end you’re striving for, any means you use to get to that end, are justified. In fact, it’s even noble to “help” some one else’s cause in this respect and if you’re not helping in such causes, you’re branded, a selfish, self-righteous, snob.
There are times when I find this culture of dishonestly quite frustrating and even depressing, especially as it reflects the character of Pakistan’s youth, the generation that’s suppose to take this country forward in the future. Then again, I shouldn’t find this too surprising, after all honesty isn’t part of the Pakistani national character, hardly a surprise that students should lack it too. In the face of all this, I find the BIEK spokesperson’s claim that there wasn’t a single case of cheating today quite unbelievable and frankly, laughable.
Post Script: Well, there you go, so much for Mr. No-name BIEK spokesperson’s claim of everything going along smoothly. Express have a lead story in their Metropolitan section with the headline screaming: “Inter ke imtehanat mein naqal per rokne se do collegon mein hungame“. The report also adds that at least one student was also injured as authorities fail to enforce Section 144. Talk about being in denial. Check out the full report here.