Eid-ul-Adha is over and so are the holidays. People are going to get back to their normal routines: employees to their jobs, businessmen to their businesses, and students to their studies. The students, however, would witness the pressure as their exams are around the corner. In Sindh, the exams of HSSC Part I and II are going to commence from the 28th of July.
The important thing, however, is to see what the concerned authorities have done this year to prevent the rampant cheating embedded in the examination system of the province. Having passed my matriculation and enter examinations from a local school and a college, I have a good idea as to how deep this culture has penetrated, and how it is causing the loss of millions of bright students of Sindh.
The story starts at the entrance of the examination center, where students enter with notes hidden in their socks, shoes, or even in their shirts. There is no proper checking system at the entrances, and even if students are checked, the checking is haphazard and, therefore, futile. Some guards are merciful enough to hide the notes of students themselves and return those to them after the checking in exchange for some rupees.
After this, when the exam starts, invigilators in the examination centers—exceptions are always there—allow the students to cheat freely provided that they do everything with silence. It is only with the arrival of any external or a board team do the students stop cheating and as soon as the team leaves, the process is again continued.
The efficacy of the board teams is also something to feel pity for. Even if they catch any student involved in cheating, many a time they take the paper to scare the student and leave the examination center after taking a cup of tea, while the paper is safely returned to the student to carry on with the process of copying.
This account of the situation in examination centers is based not on any hypothesis, but my personal four-year experience. Anybody from the Sindh board can relate to at least some part of this story. The situation is regrettable and contemptible. The authorities must heed this aspect of education, stop the cheating culture ASAP and save the students from this malicious practice.