Monday September 20, 2021

Frequent, sudden visits by male inspectors upsetting girl students in Inter exams

A number of girl students appearing in the ongoing Higher Secondary School Certificate Annual Examination 2021 have complained of frequent and sudden visits to the exam centres by male vigilance teams, demanding from the officials of the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi to stop them.

During such visits, students say, they feel discomforted because girls are often forced to not wear Abayas and shawls while attempting the papers. According to the complainants, when these inspection teams suddenly enter the examination halls, students can’t focus on solving their papers and they feel distracted. Instead of solving the papers, they start to wear their Abayas and shawls.

Before the start of the HSSC annual exams, vigilance teams were formed by the Directorate of Colleges and the BIEK to prevent the use of unfair means in the exams. As per a statement issued by officials of the BIEK, “In order to prevent copy culture and discourage the use of unfair means in examinations, the board has tasked 16 super vigilance teams consisting of male teachers who daily visit different examination centers across the city.”

Also, around 210 vigilance officers have been assigned to pay visits to exam centres and check the examination process. Likewise, one vigilance officer regularly performs duty at each examination centre. However, not a single female member has been inducted into the vigilance teams, due to which female candidates have registered their complaints with the BIEK, and some of them have approached the directorate of colleges.

During visits to various exam centres with official vigilance teams, many female teachers who have been tasked with monitoring girls’ exam centers, said the frequent visits by male vigilance teams not only make female candidates discomforted but also disturb female examiners.

They pointed out that because of power outages, female students are forced to take off their Abayas and shawls as they sit the exams. In such cases, the sudden entry of male inspection team members into the examination room upsets students.

According to the reports issued on a daily basis by the BIEK, these teams have been visiting 80 per cent of the girls’ exams centres. Despite the availability of a large number of senior female teachers, the board and the directorate officials preferred to formed vigilance teams comprising men.

This is why female examiners have termed the sudden visits by male inspection teams unethical and illegal. They have demanded of the authorities to stop such visits or at least inform the female examiners before the visits so that girls don’t feel any stress.

However, when BIEK chairman Dr Saeeduddin was contacted, he said he had no knowledge about such complaints. He said he would look into the matter, and if he found that female students had filed complaints against the vigilance teams, he would come up with a solution.

“The board is not a raiding agency to upset the students, but it’s an educational institute that aims to provide maximum facilities to the students as well as maintaining transparency in the assessment process.”

He said the board would not tolerate any sort of misconduct with female students. “These girls are our future. I wish them success in the HSSC exams.” This year as many as 55,443 students of Science, Pre-Medical, Pre-Engineering, General Science, Home Economics, and Commerce groups would attempt the HSSC exams in the morning shift. Around 57,157 aspirants of the private group, regular students of the Arts group, special candidates and the students of Physical Education will be appearing in the HSSC annual exams in the evening shift. A total of 112,600 aspirants of all groups would sit the exams.

A total of 210 examination centres have been set up in the morning and evening shifts for the exams, of which 114 centres have been established for the morning shift while 96 centres are for the evening shift.