The Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) has urged the government to withdraw its decision to cancel five examinations of the General and Science Groups of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations in the district of Rawalpindi.
The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Rawalpindi had announced the cancelation of five SSC examinations on account of complaints of leaks earlier this week. Consequently, office-bearers of various teachers’ organizations criticized the decision and demanded its immediate withdrawal.
The concerned teachers have also warned that they will boycott the examinations if the BISE does not reverse its decision.
President PTU, Raja Tahir Mahmood, Chief Organizer PTU, Syed Hamid Ali Shah, Chairman PTU, Raja Shahid Mubarik, Secretary-General PTU, Malik Zaheeruddin Baber, and President Punjab Educators Association, Akhyan Tahir, addressed a press conference at the Rawalpindi Press Club on Thursday and declared that the decision to reconduct the examinations in this heat is not feasible for the candidates.
The PTU President stated that “more than 170,000 students have been forced to appear in the papers again due to negligence of the staff in one small center”.
“Question papers have been leaked constantly during the last few years and the board’s administration has failed to take action against the printing branch officials deployed in the same branch for more than three years against rules,” he claimed.
Mahmood said that the question papers had been issued from the printing press through daily-wage employees of the board who were responsible for leaking them in WhatsApp groups.
He highlighted that the board is penalizing teachers instead of the secrecy branch officials.
“The teachers received the paper from the secrecy branch and were not responsible for leaking it as they received it only 15 minutes before the start of the exam. By this time, the paper had already been leaked allegedly by BISE officials,” he explained.
When approached for his take on the matter, Chairman BISE, Dr. Khalid Mehmood, confirmed that five examinations had been canceled as they had been leaked and an investigation is underway.
“We had no other option but to cancel the papers as they were circulating in WhatsApp groups. The allegations of the teachers are baseless as the board is working to bring the main culprits to the forefront,” he said.
The BISE Chairman remarked that there is no evidence against the officials who worked at the printing press but if the allegations are found to be true, those responsible will be punished.
He said that the BISE had contacted the police to trace the origin of the message had originated.
“The police and cybercrime wing were reluctant to support the board. We caught a teacher at the Kahuta center helping students but he got bail,” Dr. Mehmood revealed and added that the teachers’ union should help the board trace the culprits if they have proof of it.