LAHORE:15 November: Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Acting Chairman Allah Baksh Gondal told the judicial enquiry commission probing the Intermediate results fiasco on Monda that Lahore District Coordination Officer (DCO) Ahad Cheema and IT consultant Dr Majid Naeem, who was appointed by Cheema, were responsible for the problems faced by the students. “And likewise the former board chairmen and controllers are also guilty of remaining silent when they knew that the online system and centralisation of eight boards could result in a big mishap,” he added. The judicial enquiry commission, headed by Justice Shahid Saeed of the Lahore High Court (LHC), decided to summon Dr Majid Naeem, the chief IT consultant of eight boards of Punjab. It was also decided that he be summoned on daily basis during the commission’s proceedings so he, while staying the NAB’s custody, could observe ‘the transparency of the inquiry’.
Commenting on the menace of cheating in the examination, Justice Shahid observed: “What kind of nation we are who’ve failed to curb cheating in the last 64 years. He said both parents and teachers had failed in the character-building of students.” Holding parents responsible for it, the judge said that in the past children would respect their parents but now the situation was altogether different because of “the negative influence of the objectionable Indian TV dramas and films”.
“Where we are heading to?” the judge posed a question. Gondal said DCO Ahad Cheema was the competent authority and it was he who appointed Dr Majid and made him “the second big Boss of Punjab”.
During proceedings of the commission on Monday, Justice Shahid Saeed deemed it necessary that Dr Majid must listen to each of the allegations being leveled against him by “an army of suspended chairmen and controllers” of all the eights boards of intermediate and secondary education (BISE) in Punjab.
The judge observed that since Dr Majid was ‘the main character’ in the fiasco of the boards’ online system, the commission wanted him to be part of its proceedings.
At 4pm on Monday, the commission put off the proceedings till Tuesday (today) citing shortage of time. Dr Majid, who is in the NAB’s custody until Nov 21, was summoned to join the proceedings from next week. The serving and former (suspended) chairmen and controllers of the boards of Punjab, in their written statements, held Dr Majid and Lahore DCO Ahad Cheema responsible for the exam results fiasco. They said both of them wrongly centralised working of eights boards that made it impossible to manage and keep record of data of each board separately.
The judge asked BISE Rawalpindi Acting Chairman Dr Muhammad Ashraf about errors and inaccuracies in the intermediate results for the year 2011.
Dr Ashraf said the system was good but it had some major faults that were not rectified despite being pointed out. He blamed Dr Majid saying that he was the top boss and he would not heed any suggestions.
He went on to say the boards’ chairmen dared not speak to him because of his “bossy attitude”
Ashraf mentioned that back in 1991; the Rawalpindi board had a computerised as well as a manual system to counter-checking the data. “But with the advent of the new system, that parallel systems were dropped,” he added.
He said had the new system accommodated the separate functioning of the boards, it could have worked better.
All Pakistan Private Schools Management Lahore Chairman Ibrar Ahmed Khan said he had moved the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench seeking the revival of parallel checking systems. He said the court did summon Dr Majid and he assured the court that manual system would not be abolished. But, he said, Dr Majid ended the manual work “to promote his online system made by his own software firm”.
Rawalpindi BISE Chairman Dr Qasim said the computer operating staff had no proper training to look after the data of eight boards and they had to follow the instructions that came from Lahore “as orders from Dr Majid”.
Mansoor ul Hassan, former controller of the Lahore BISE said that in previous manual system, it was mandatory to keep award lists for record verification contrary to the new system.
He said the faults in scanning the students’ data caused errors in results and the software of online was also faulty. Akram Kashmiri, former Lahore BISE chairman said the computerisation policy was introduced by the government and he was duty-bound to carry out the orders issued by Dr Majid and DCO Ahad Cheema.
Majid Naeem’s remand extended: An accountability court on Monday extended the physical remand of Dr Majid Naeem, ex-principal Punjab University College of Information Technology till November 21.
Earlier, NAB authorities produced the accused before the trial court after completion of his one day physical remand given by the duty judge of the accountability court on Saturday.
NAB authorities sought fourteen days extension in the physical remand of accused to investigate him and were granted a week’s permission.
Accused, who is presently computerisation consultant of eight boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education in Punjab, had been arrested from Lahore when he was going back from Lahore High Court after attending the hearing of a judicial commission formed over failure of online system prepared to hold the statistical data of matriculation and intermediate examination and results. According to details, in December, 2010 a references was filed against Naeem in an accountability court over the charges of misappropriation of Rs 27,97,850 through misuse of authority. On the other hand, according to sources accused has moved an application showing his will to voluntarily return the embezzled amount.Pakistan Today.