LAHORE : The inability of the Lahore Board to scrutinize credentials of examination staff for the ongoing Intermediate Annual Examination has raised serious questions about the fairness and transparency of the whole exercise.
The News has learnt that some examination staff which was disqualified by the Punjab Board of Technical Education (PBTE) for their inefficiency and negligence in the performance of duties, has been engaged by the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education (BISE) Lahore for Inter Part-II examination which started on Saturday.
It is learnt, among some invigilators, at least two individuals have been assigned the duties of exam center superintendents (with BISE Lahore ID No. 28599 and 48547) in the provincial metropolis who were disqualified by the PBTE last year.
There are nine BISEs, one each at a divisional headquarter, in Punjab while the PBTE is a separate entity which conducts exams related to technical and commercial education, vocational training and trade and skill courses etc. The BISEs conduct matriculation (grade-9th and 10th) and intermediate (part-I and part-II) simultaneously every year.
Currently, there is no intra-board or inter-board mechanism in place under which different boards could share prompt information related to exam staff.
This raises another question as teachers, who perform exam duties, are often transferred from one district to another.
“This means if a superintendent is placed in red box by a particular BISE is transferred to another district in jurisdiction of another board; the latter is totally unaware of his or her past record vis-à-vis duties in exams,” said a senior official of a BISE who wished to remain anonymous.
The official further said each board maintained its own blacklist and the disqualified for any reason was placed in red box.
He said the BISEs were also facing a tough time in finding examination staff as school and college teachers usually did not want to be engaged in exam duties.
BISE Lahore has set up 561 examination centers for the Inter-Part-II exam under its jurisdiction and over 170,000 candidates are appearing in Lahore Board’s exams. At each exam center besides a superintendent and a deputy superintendent, four to five invigilators are deputed while mobile inspection teams also visit the centers to ensure smooth and fair conduct of the exam.
Sources, however, said “booti mafia”, which the government claims to have been eliminated, worked very systematically and in an organised manner and took advantage of the lacunas in the exam system such as getting their ‘favourite’ individuals deputed at the exam centers.
A spokesperson for PBTE confirmed that the superintendents (with BISE Lahore ID No. 28599 and 48547) were disqualified by the technical board last year.
He said the mobile teams had found the staff inefficient and recommended their disqualification for future exams of the PBTE.
When contacted, BISE Lahore controller of examination, Prof Muhammad Nasir Jamil, said the PBTE had not shared information about its blacklisted examination staff. The technical board should share such information with us, he added.
He said as per practice, the board sought details of individuals to be engaged for exam duties from heads of their respective institutions. Then these lists are shared with CO of each district (in case of schoolteacher) and Director Colleges (for college teachers)
to check if there was any inquiry pending against them. Prof Nasir further said the list was also shared with the Special Branch. However, the same was usually not processed timely because of the volume of the exercise, he added. He also claimed that if any staff was blacklisted by a particular board, a notification was sent to other boards.