An inadequate education system

SSC-Part I and SSC Part II students sit for board exams across the country. Many private television channels broadcast images of how our children cheat. The guards are either corrupt or under enormous pressure from political circles and I would like to know why. Raids are carried out in examination centers but students caught cheating are not punished nor are the proctors who facilitate them. Questionnaires have been leaked before the exams, this seems to be a common thing. No investigation is conducted and no one seems to take responsibility for the action.

In the 80’s when I appeared for my SSC exam, as a private student, the invigilator demanded an expensive wrist watch as a bribe from the students and offered them freedom to cheat in all papers throughout the exams. I refused to be part of this dirty business because I was the only student to appear in English. By not taking strong action against these students and supervisors, we are producing criminals in schools and colleges. How can a student become an honest, law-abiding citizen when he begins his life by cheating on his exams?

What should I say to my children, who often ask me, what is the point of studying in expensive schools in coaching centers, and sometimes by candlelight, when other students directly copy the answers textbooks and guides during the exam? We produce professional charlatans in large numbers every year. If the Ministry of Education does not take timely action, our educational credentials will soon become unacceptable abroad. Let’s all agree to do something before it’s too late.

Mr. RAFIQUE ZAKARIA,

Karachi, April 6.