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CTD-led team starts probe to unearth exam cheating racket


May 18, 2017

A committee led by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has started an investigation into rampant cheating in the ongoing annual examinations by intermediate students in Karachi.

The committee has been formed on an order from the Sindh government, which has shown concern over frequent complaints about cheating by candidates through leaked papers and use of smartphones.

A letter issued by the provincial government says the chief minister has taken serious notice of print and electronic media reports about leakage of papers and cheating through WhatsApp groups during the annual examinations of Higher Secondary Shool Certificate (Part-1 and II).

He has directed that the CTD of the Sindh Police to conduct an investigation, take necessary action under the rules and submit a report.

Acting on the chief minister’s directives, Additional Inspector Gerneral Sanaullah Abbasi, chief of the CTD Sindh, has formed a team under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Aamir Farooqi of the CTD Karachi.

Talking to The News, DIG Farooqi said on Wednesday that the team was initially gathering information about the incidents reported earlier and it would later serve notices on officials of the education department, including the heads of the examination centers, for answering questions.

He observed that the cheating culture in exams was not new, but it should be ended once and for all. 

Officials said several reports of cheating by students with the help of agents and police at examination centres had surfaced. The cheating culture in colleges was damaging the standard of education and the future of brilliant students, they said.

It was also noticed that private examination centres were established for high-profile students who were charged a big amount to solve question papers in separate rooms.

According to DIG Farooqi, another modus operandi is that most students visit the college or the examination centre a week or a few days before the exams and talk to staffers, including peons, to offer them handsome amounts to help them cheat.

There were also complains that question papers were solved outside colleges, and that the solvers sent the solved paper to students through a clerk or a peon carrying water or some stationery item. These clerk and peoples were said to be working in collusion with teachers.

The official said that every year there is news of question papers reaching students before the start of exams, and that the board office prepares three different papers. Whenever this kind of malpractice is exposed, the leaked paper is disowned and the second one is released. 

Students carry answers in their pockets, socks, caps, belts, shoes, calculator casing and purses. Answers are also written on tissue paper. However, now smart phones or smart watches have made cheating easy as students are increasingly using their devices for cheating. 

In most cases, said the officials, students use their cellphones with bluetooth ear devices in washrooms to contact a relative or the solver present outside the exam centre. 

DIG Farooqi said that “keeping in view all these problems, we will prepare a list of the mafia involved in the cheating racket and recommend a mechanism to ensure that question papers are not leaked and are safely carried to the exam centres”.