LAHORE - Lack of commitment, monitoring and policy are said to be answers to why public sector colleges fail to bag top positions in the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Examinations while students of the private colleges secure top positions.

Boys from the Punjab Group of Colleges clinched top three positions, with Muhammad Umar securing 1,060 marks, Menaam Farooq 1,059 and Muhammad Umar Mukhtar 1,052 in BISE examination 2017.

While in Pre-Engineering group both boys and girls from the Punjab College clinching top three positions. Muhammad Umer got the first position with 1,060 marks followed by Muhammad Tayyab Khan 1049 and Ali Hamza 1042 second and third. Likewise, Faheen Asif remained first with 1,047 marks, Mahnoor Asad second with 1,042 and Enza Naeem third with 1,039 marks.

In the Pre-Medical group, Minam Farooq secured the first position with 1,059 marks, Muhammad Umar Mukhtar with 1052 marks both students of the Punjab College and Omar Naeem of the Government College University third with 1,045 marks.

Same was the situation in other disciplines. Somewhere Government College University, Kinnaird College, FC College, Government College for Women, Township and some other public sector college are seen clinching positions.

It has been found that there is a very poor check on students and teachers in the government institutions. Dr Iftikhar Sulehri, Assistant Professor at Shalimar College Lahore told The Nation that the monitoring in private colleges was very strong while this was lacking in the government colleges.

He said that teachers don’t bother to teach or remain present in the government colleges. They are least focuses on students attendance, the academic added.

“A good number of public sector teachers are employed at the private colleges while many of them are running their private academies,” Dr Sulehri shared.

Prof Asif Javed from Government Post Graduate College Jaranwala said that the private sector attracts best of the students who also come from rich families. He said that the need was to hold refresher courses for teachers.

Professor Asif Ali, a former teacher at the Punjab College, said that there is no concept of ‘collegiate’ in the private sector. He said that teachers have to focus on the students who are customers for the private institutions.

Prof Muhammad Akram, a public sector college teacher, said all those who were enjoying public sector jobs were equally responsible for the poor position of the government sector institutions. From peon of the school to the secretary education, he added, no one likes to admit his or her children in the government institutions. “We work in public sector just for earning; we lack trust on it, we fear that it will damage future of our children,” Prof Akram commented and added that higher education was not focus of the government.

A former Higher Education Department secretary requesting anonymity said that a board chairman complained to him that a private group of college approached him, offered handsome bribes for top positions in the BISE examinations. The group managers even threatened him and ran a campaign against me, he asserted.

“The government role in the examination system, its monitoring system, and secrecy, vigilance, marking system, paper setters and process to declare position holders is compromised.

“The chairmen and controllers of the BISEs who happen to be teachers don’t sustain the pressure of the private education chains and surrender.”

The ex-secretary further said that the government had changed the policy for the induction of the BISE chairman's appointment. Any eligible person from any service could be the candidate for the top board’s slot, he added.

He said that he wanted to utilise CCTV camera technology at the examination and marking centers. The government should use this technique to ensure transparency in the examinations for better results, he suggested. Moreover, he said that the government should ban coaching of the public sector teachers in private colleges, run their academies and ensure monitoring of colleges. “There should be super sections for brilliant students at government colleges and refresher courses should be conducted for teachers” he opined. “The government policy on education is hollow,” the ex-official said, highlighting that cosmetic surgery was not a solution to the public sector educational woes.