Minister raids Class-IX exam center and orders arrest of eight officials

Punjab’s School Education Minister, Rana Sikandar Hayat, has taken action against the Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) chairman and controller examination due to their alleged involvement in facilitating cheating during class-IX annual exams.

Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa has been appointed as the interim BISE chairman and has initiated an inquiry, with the additional commissioner (coordination) leading the investigation. Furthermore, the minister personally led a raid at an examination center in Baghbanpura, resulting in the arrest of eight officials linked to facilitating cheating.

These individuals confessed to accepting bribes to provide solved answer sheets and allowing impersonation.The minister stated that the controller’s employment of private individuals as invigilators exacerbated the issue. He accused the chairman and the controller of aiding the cheating mafia in Lahore, alleging that the controller permitted the hiring of private invigilators.

The minister claimed that the cheating mafia had bribed board staff to secure specific examination centers, which were allegedly being sold for Rs80,000. Additionally, the minister revealed that obtaining answer sheets filled with answers cost students Rs4,000 to Rs7,000 each, as disclosed by invigilators on social media.

The minister vowed to continue exposing the cheating mafia, with 30 suspects already arrested. The ongoing matric annual examinations conducted by Lahore BISE have been significantly affected by widespread cheating, resulting in the sealing of seven centers and the cancellation of papers for hundreds of students across various areas of the city.

Meanwhile, Rana Liaqat Ali, Punjab Teachers’ Union Central General Secretary, expressed doubts about the transparency of examinations. He argued that suspending the chairman and controller would not bring about substantial change unless there were significant reforms in the process of appointing examination staff, particularly regarding the involvement of private individuals as invigilators.

Ali urged the chief minister and education minister to implement immediate reforms in the examination system, including altering the paper pattern, increasing remuneration for examination staff, and imposing restrictions on private individuals serving as invigilators and involved in marking.

Additionally, Punjab Minister Bilal Yasin conducted visits to various examination centers in Lahore and took action against those violating rules, including suspending superintendents and dismissing invigilators. He criticized the appointment of polio workers and private individuals as invigilators, issuing orders for a transparent inquiry into the matter.

Yasin’s visits led to the suspension of a superintendent for appointing a polio worker as an invigilator and the dismissal of private invigilators at Girls High School Dev Samaj. Furthermore, he issued a show-cause notice to the principal of Girls High School Dev Samaj for neglecting her duties.

Yasin also expressed dissatisfaction with the CEO Education for poor supervision and instructed the administration to take concrete measures to prevent cheating in all examination centers.

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