KARACHI -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to write an open letter to the parents of the students who are going to appear in the forthcoming matriculation and intermediate examinations and urge them to stop their children from using unfair means in the examinations.

This is government and parents’ collective responsibility to stop the future generations from playing with their future, he said while presiding over a meeting on measures to stop use of unfair means in the forthcoming examinations. The meeting was attended by Minister for Education Jam Mehtab Dahar, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Principal Secretary Naveed Kamran Balcoh, Secretary for Education Aziz Uqaili, chairmen of all educational boards and other concerned officials.

The chief minister said that this was not just the responsibility of the government; education boards, examiners, invigilators and parents were equally responsible and they should make a commitment that they would not allow anyone to use unfair means in the examinations. “Instead of producing a poorly-educated youth, we should produce a genuinely educated youth, which can compete in the market, local and international, and make their teachers, parents and the country proud. This is what I humbly want all of you to do,” he said.

Education Secretary Naveed Shaikh briefed the chief minister and said that there were seven boards of education in Sindh -- Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Larkana, BISE Sukkur, BISE Shaheed Benazirabad, Board of Secondary Education (BSE) Karachi, Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) Karachi, BISE Hyderabad and BISE Mirpurkhas. He said that SSC examinations were starting throughout Sindh from March 28 and ending on April 8. HSE examinations are staring from April 28 and ending on May 15. He said that 685,672 candidates would appear in 9th and 10th class examinations and 504,907 students in intermediate part-1 and part-II examinations.

Shaikh said that 330 centres had been set up in Karachi for the examinations of class 9th and 10th, 227 in Hyderabad, 211 in Sukkur, 135 in Larkana and 128 in Mirpurkhas. Similarly, he said, 112 centres had been set up in Karachi for part-I and part-II examinations, 120 in Hyderabad, 110 in Sukkur, 91 in Larkana and six in Mirpurkhas.

The chief minister was told that 212,427 students, including 99,660 boys and 112,767 girls, would appear in the examinations being conducted by the Board of Intermediate Karachi from March 25. Out of 212,427 part-I students, 87,480 were regular and the rest were private. Of part-II students, 17,204 were private and 91,868 were regular.

The board has set up 112 centres in the morning shift and 100 in the evening. Of them, 29 have been declared sensitive in the morning shift and 26 in the evening shift.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to take necessary measures at the examination centres. Mobile phones must be banned and jammers be installed in the vicinity to jam mobile phone signals. The photo copier machines and facilitators must be stopped from operating on the premises of examination centres.

He said that he would hold the concerned board responsible and take strict action it if any question paper was leaked to students. “I will ask you to keep your system foolproof so that proper and in time distribution of papers can be ensured,” he said.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that if any internal or external examiner or invigilator allowed use of unfair means during the examinations, he would terminate them. “I am telling you I will sign their termination letter and then let them go to the court of law,” he said. He directed chairmen of all boards to send him the list of internal and external examiners and supervisors along with their contact numbers so that he or his secretariat could coordinate with them.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary to coordinate with K-Electric, Hesco and Sesco to ensure smooth supply of power to examination centres. “I will suggest you to reduce loadshedding even at night so that students can prepare properly for their examinations,” he said.

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also decided to write an open letter to parents in English, Urdu and Sindhi and publish it in leading newspapers and social media to urge the parents to educate their children against the use of unfair means in examinations.

The chief minister directed the chairmen of all boards to conduct a study to remove flaws and anomalies from examinations and make them easier, transparent and foolproof. “I am working on capacity-building of teachers, improvements in the curriculum according to the latest requirements, introduction of modern methods of teaching in schools and new methods of examinations,” he said. The issue is being taken seriously so that the education system produces a genuinely educated youth, he added.