Joint team to probe entry test results
KABUL (PAN): The Wolesi Jirga on Saturday decided to create a commission, including members of house panels, civil society groups and higher education ministry, to probe results of a recent university entry test.
The decision came days after a string of protests by students in Kabul and other parts of the country against what they called widespread anomalies in the entry test. They staged demonstrations for a review of the results.
Higher Education Minister Obaidullah Obaid was summoned to the lower house to answer members’ queries on the subject. Some lawmakers, demanding outright invalidation of the results, linked the anomalies to inadequate preparations by the ministry.
The ministry had appointed a small team to supervise the exams, with some members of the delegation treating the candidates unfairly, the legislators alleged.
One woman parliamentarian Humaira Ayubi claimed that weak invigilation teams and interference from influential people had negatively impinged on the process in several provinces.
Her colleague Obaidullah Kalimzai revealed the question papers had been leaked to some candidates ahead of the test. Two individuals had been detained by the Attorney General Office for involvement in leaking the papers, he said.
Another lawmaker, Mohammad Naeem Hamidzai Lalai, charged that a number of candidates who bribed the ministry workers had been given higher marks. Such students had been able to get admissions to the universities of their choice.
But the minister replied that special machines were used to check answer sheets, something that minimised chances of irregularities. Neither question papers nor answer sheets had been leaked, he insisted.
In order to ensure transparency in the exams at the provincial level, no official had been allowed to conduct invigilation duty in his/her home province, Obaid said.
The authorities concerned have been directed to address complaints from 3000 students, added the minister, who suggested the MPs and civil society leaders should jointly investigate the results.
First Deputy Speaker Mirwais Yasini, who chaired the session, ruled members of religious and culture commissions of the two houses, civil society groups and higher education ministry would probe results of the test.
But other MPs, including Abdul Qayyum Sajjadi from Ghazni and Seema Joyenda from Ghor, said the successful candidates had found their way to good universities because of their hard work and ability.
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