I saw them but remained silent because of the fear of my grades being affected if I stand against them. The government asks us to make complaints against them but then they ask us about our identity, revealing which, is obviously onerous. You tell them who you are and then spend the next few hours pondering over how big a mistake you have made by letting them know your name and roll number. Are they too innocent not to know about all this? My mind tells me how they are all a part of the game, obviously not the players, rest assured the coaches!
From micro copy of notes to mini guides and pocket guides, I saw them all, possessed by the students during the examination hall. When half the time of the paper had passed, the examination hall was enchanted with a lovely ringing tone. The invigilator asked the student who possessed the mobile phone to turn it off and took it away from him, without even once reprimanding him. The superintendent was no less than a dummy head who saw how his invigilators helped the students solve their papers; all but with a smile on his face.
What made me laugh my lungs out was how a single student would go to the toilet more than five times during the very limited time of two to three hours, of the examination. Obviously I was suspicious regarding this, so I kept a check on a particular student of the kind. I saw him bringing new notes every time he went outside the examination hall, pretending that he was going to attend the toilet. The peon whose duty was to give water to the students during the examination, would shake hands with every student he gave water to. I was so touched with his courtesy until I found out how he was giving pages to the students which he carried in his fist.
This was a mere short story of the examination hall, narrated after keeping all my fears aside. No less corrupted are those who check our papers. I remember how I stood first throughout the year, in the first year of my graduations, given a certificate by the Vice Chancellor of the University; but when the final result of the university was announced, I scored less than those who could not even properly phrase their words in English language; those who flunked throughout the year; those who were continuously helped out during the examination hall. Not that I worked less harder for the final examination but that maybe I worked one way; the strenuous way of learning and understanding rather than looking for unfair means that would have helped me better in scoring higher.
I was wondering if the examiner was blind because he gave such good marks to those who did not even know the basics of grammar, let alone writing something that would make sense. Certainly it is all a matter of how well you are acquainted with those who check your papers and how unfairly you can make use of your money to get good grades; so what if you cannot speak or write or even understand what you have been graded for? I saw it on television how these included those too, who were happy being bribed for converting the lower grades to higher (less marks to more) when they shifted the results to the computers for the online announcement of results. It was a part of some news report from one of the cities of my beautiful country.
Of course this is no new sight for me. I see it every year for a month while sitting my examinations. Sometimes rather frustrating. I once felt like I better stop working hard and must prefer the easy gateway to good grades but my conscience was not allowing me. It was that day when I realised how sights like these do not only apparently affect students (getting less marks than what they deserve), but psychologically too, passionate students lose all their interest in studies because of this torment.
Yes it has been ages now and though I am used to the very sight of this abomination, I have the same, yet so new, feelings of disgust and helplessness every year. They say, in pen lies potency stronger than actions, so here I am, holding it to voice my silenced words and enact my tremulous revolt against the unfair means used in the sector of education……. a sector where lies the future of Pakistan!