New Year brings with it old problems for Pindi education board -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

New Year brings with it old problems for Pindi education board

By: Mudassir Raja

RAWALPINDI: The fresh examination season has brought troubles back for the Rawalpindi board. The website prepared by the Punjab Information Technology (PIT) does not do what it was designed for: making it easy for candidates to submit their data.

Students have been facing problems in registering online owing to multiple faults in the website. The issues they are facing are not new. They have been around since a year, and are virtually the same that candidates sitting for board exams had to face last year.

The 58 centres that the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Rawalpindi (RBISE) has designated to help candidates with their online registration pose another problem.

First, these centres, meant primarily for candidates from public schools, charge between Rs200 to Rs300 from each student. Sometimes they are unable to submit candidate data due to internet problems. Other times there is no electricity, said school teacher Raja Nasrullah. Then there are times when the official website is down, forcing the candidates to return multiple times just to get their data submitted online.

Recently, Nasrullah added, more than 100 girls from Jhelum had to come to Rawalpindi to appear in supplementary exams just due to the fault of a facilitation centre in Sohawa. There are 29 such centres in Rawalpindi, nine in Chakwal, eight in Jhelum and 12 in Attock. The list of designated schools is available on the main page of the board’s website. However, it is not prominently visible.

Students trying to register on their own are not fairing much better. Usama Ali, a private student, said, “I have been unable to open the website [for registration] for the last three days.” All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) President Abrar Ahmed Khan said they are considering moving the Lahore High Court against the use of the online registration system.

Following last year’s issues and subsequent student protests, a judicial commission analysed the system, he said. The commission recommended that either the online registration system in its current form be abandoned, or students also be allowed to register manually. But the government decided to go ahead with just the online system, Arar said.

RBISE Secretary Dr Jawad Sherazi said they have received no complaints about the system. However, he conceded that they have observed some problems with the website prepared by PIT, which will be resolved “soon”.

In the meanwhile, the last date to register to appear in matriculation exams with regular fee has been extended from December 24 to December 31. Private students appearing for art subjects will have to pay Rs650, while those appearing in science subjects will have to pay Rs700. Public school students are exempted from the fee.

Candidates (both private and public) can register for the exams after December 31 by paying double the registration fee. After January 7, anyone registering will have to pay triple fee. No one will be registered after January 14. The double and triple fees apply to both public and private students.

The Express Tribune

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