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Consequences Implemented for Board Employees Due to Critical Errors in Matric Exams

In response to findings from an investigation into alleged errors in the results of SSC-II examinations, Sindh’s caretaker Chief Minister (retd) Justice Maqbool Baqar has taken decisive action. Following a report submitted by a three-member inquiry committee, the Chief Minister directed the Anti-Corruption Establishment to conduct a thorough investigation into the entire examination team of the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK).

The inquiry committee, chaired by Secretary School Education Dr. Shereen Mustafa and including Additional Secretary Universities and Boards Afshan Rubab and Zuzain Katbar Section Officer of U&B department, meticulously investigated allegations of result manipulation in the 2023 SSC Part-II annual examination by the BSEK.

The committee’s report, submitted on February 21, attributed responsibility for the errors to the examination and IT teams of BSEK. It recommended not only an inquiry by the Anti-Corruption Establishment but also departmental action against all officers found negligent. The findings emphasized a lack of seriousness, professionalism, and efficiency among board employees. Criticism was directed at the chairman for failing to implement necessary reforms and adequately train teachers involved in assessing answer sheets.

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Throughout the proceedings, the committee noted a lack of seriousness among summoned employees and discrepancies in the result announcement and publication processes. The report highlighted a conflict of interest regarding Khalid Ehsan, deputy controller, who was implicated in the result process and appointed to the internal inquiry committee.

The committee observed neglect of the IT wing, crucial for all activities, leading to manipulation and mismanagement. It noted issues with new result software introduced in 2023, which failed to calculate total marks accurately and omitted grade grace due to mismatching software. Additionally, the introduction of the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) system lacked proper training for teachers involved in assessing answer sheets, resulting in numerous errors. Both the system provider consulting firm and the Board administration were held accountable for inadequate training before implementing new systems, with the administration failing to effectively address identified issues.

The examination team, including the controller and IT team, bore responsibility for significant errors, with recommendations for further investigation by agencies like the Anti-corruption establishment. Departmental action was advised against all negligent officers. Lack of cooperation from officers, including the chairman, hindered the committee’s work.

The committee highlighted weaknesses in the IT cell, software consulting firm, and contract administration, along with unprofessional behavior among examination branch staff. The failure of the chairman to introduce reforms exacerbated the board’s performance issues. The caretaker CM approved the committee’s recommendations based on the factual findings in the report, signaling a commitment to addressing the systemic failures identified.

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