Shaukat Hayat Buneri
Cheating in examination is a common practice not only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but in all the regions and provinces of Pakistan. Although various steps and measures have been taken to curb this menace but sorry to say that all attempts have miserably failed to yield positive results in this regard. At the outset, it would not be out of place to say here that before the commencement of every grade of examination, pressure is mounted from every side to stop the practice of unfair means, but there is no panacea to conduct these exams in free, fair and transparent manners. Different tactics and techniques are being emp-loyed to make use of unfair means in examination halls even in this age of modern technology. In the past,the examination were held in much better environment as compared to the present time. The examination would be considered as the real test of one ability and hard work of a student. But as against the system can in no way be called the ultimate end to assess one capability and hidden talent.
It may be mentioned here that although the government are also taking different measures to overcome the menace but as mentioned earlier, the situation are going from bad to worse and the practice is going unabated. For example the district administration of different districts of KP with the collaboration of the education departments are devising strategies especially by exercising modern tools and techniques to stop the bad practice. But it has miserably failed to get the desired results. Even the CCTV cameras were installed in examination halls and places to stop and monitor the bad practice but this too met a failure. According to education experts the installation of CCTV camera is though a very good practice to discourage the habit of cheating- but due to meager resources the government is unable to make proper arrangement in each and every hall and exam venue. The installation of few cameras in a very few places is mere an eye wash for the common people regarding the conducting of examination in a transparent manner.
An intelligent and talented female student who is currently taking metric exam in Buner district told this scribe on the condition of anonymity that she has very finely attempted her English paper by using her own common sense and did not opt for cheating despite of the fact that she had no hindrance to go for cheating but his conscience did not allow her to involve in the bad practice. She also added that there was no bar or restrictions on any one and all were at liberty to do it accordingly. As such there was also no restriction from the duty staff to forbidden them from wrong doing. The student who attempted her English paper also pointed out a very clear point that whatever steps and measures may be taken by the government to stop the menace but one should not expect any positive result and the trend will witness upward jump.
In this backdrop it is also worth mentioning that government has also taken may reformative measures to bring positive changes in the existing system of examination from time to time. The pattern of objective types questions or MCQs in NTS or ETEA though have borne fruitful re-sults to some extent but still t-he desired results are yet be achieved. Because the people trust on all types of examinations have been done away totally. In this regard the notion of quality education has also vanished away at all. Today we see that an average student can easily mange to pass exam in throughout first division. Because they have no hurdles by using unfair means.
However in practical life he/she will have to face many hurdles to compete with other talented and intelligent people. Moreover it has also been practically proved and verified that the children of influential or affluent class get successes with grace marks in exam as their parents and guardians get sway and influence over the examination staff especially in rural and backward areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the invigi-lators are being influenced and dictated by the few influential of the areas. In this way the examinations are not a right method to make distinction between average and intelligent student in these areas. Often the students of the comparatively influential families get through in exam with grace marks but also atop the list of the successful students.
So keeping in view the significance of the examination, the government must take practical and meaningful steps to conduct the same in free, fare and transparent manner and there should be least chances of giving any favor or free hands to less intelligent and less hard working students. It is also worth mentioning to state that the incumbent government of KP has taken some stringent measures to purge the ongoing system of educational system with several reforms and measures have been introduced to ameliorate the lots of the poor segment of society. In this regards the examination system has also been streamlined to a considerable extent. The invigilators or the duty staff has been empowered to effectively manage the affairs of the examination hall. The staff deployed for the examination have also been selected as per criteria and the practice of the traditional duty staff have been discouraged and shun to a considerable extent.
However further reformative measures must be taken to really erect the examination system on strong footing so that the future of intelligent and deserving candidates may be secured for all time. Especially the students in the backward areas must be given a free, fair and transparent atmosphere to set in examination hall and attempt papers according to their own will.