CCTV in Exam Halls


By Farman Nawaz ( The Frontier Post)

The government of KPK in a bid to control the curse of cheating in examinations has taken the decision to install CCTV cameras in examination centers of SSC and inter level exams.

Will this project really show results? Has this project bore fruits in other counties like India and do we have statistical data of those results?  Are their examination systems similar to ours one?

In KPK the examination question papers are distributed and recollected through Banks. Now who will collect the videos from these examination centres and who will bother to watch these thousands of videos later on? Whose responsibility it is to safeguard these cameras after each paper? What about the load shedding?  If any centre would not be able to provide recording so what mechanism will be applied? The students of such centres will have to reappear in that particular paper or the invigilating staff will be relieved of their duties?

Will it not open a way for the parents, teachers and schools to compliant against other schools whose students got outstanding marks? Who will have access to these videos and can we trust the BISE management in this matter? How would someone differentiate in a video that whether an invigilator is providing cheating to any student or explaining any question for the student? Is it possible to confirm in a video that a student is cheating? Is it possible to confirm in a video that whether any invigilator is providing cheating to the student or trying to search the pockets of a student?

These are few very simple objections against this project? After the installation of CCTV cameras a lot of other complications may be observed. It is also very interesting that perhaps education minister of KPK has not issued a uniform type of notifications to various boards of intermediate and secondary education. The Chairman of BISE Peshawar in a meeting with principals of public and private schools has decided to install cameras in selected private schools and three government schools. The BISE Bannu has sent a letter only to few private schools. The BISE of Abbottabad has only announced the installation of CCTV cameras in examination centres but did not make the schools bound to install CCTV cameras.

The question is why government is installing cameras in selected schools and colleges? Are these centres black listed? Why government is ignoring the government schools where ‘booty mafia’ is always active? Will these cameras a check on the schools management and students or the invigilating staff? If invigilating staff is not able to control cheating so how can a camera stop this curse?

What does the government want? Just a psychological pressure on the students, teachers and invigilating staff or a solid proof against the people who are involved in these activities? Will the board management able to share these videos with police and media? Is there any legal option available to punish the culprits?

The curse of cheating cannot be controlled by the method of having a so-called check on the duties of invigilating staff or installing cameras in exam centres because there is no uniformity in this process. How many honest people are available to be selected for exam duties? And why should we base our exam system on personal honesty? How many exam centres can be monitored by installing cameras? Making these CCTV camera systems functional during exam is another headache.

The best option is to make changes in the question papers. So far the multiple choice question papers are found to be successful in assessment the ability of the students. Same types of tests are now conducted for entry to professional colleges and even this time teachers are tested using NTS tests. Why the government is reluctant to introduce the same pattern of examination on the lower level. Since decades we are testing our students’ memory and learning by rote. The installation of cameras is no more than just a check on the memory test and rote test. Will it bring any revolution in our education system?

Instead of strengthening the rote learning education system the government must concentrate on the introduction of modern mechanisms in our dying education system so that we produce capable students for technological markets and knowledge based economies.

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