Fraud in entry test blamed on MoHE officials
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Private Universities Association (PUA) on Monday alleged widespread fraud had been committed in recently conducted university entrance tests in connivance with some Higher Education Ministry (MoHE) officials and teachers.
But the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) rejected the claim as baseless and said the entry test process had been more transparent this year than previous years.
The entry test process began on Dec 1, 2013 and came to an end on March 12.
The exams in Logar and Herat provinces were cancelled after fraud allegations and were held again.
PUA member Prof. Mohammad Qais told reporters in Kabul fraud could not be eliminated from the entry test.
He said PUA members believed all weaknesses in the programme rested with the ministry concerned.
He said widespread fraud in the exam was evident from open question sheets, leak of answer keys to students, the involvement of armed men, cheating and other mismanagements.
He said the box to keep question papers in could easily be unlocked and answer keys were widely sold to students in Herat and other provinces prior to the test.
Qais claimed notebooks were recovered from examinees containing written answers of questions, showing some photos in support of his claim.
He said Logar, Maidan Wardak, Laghman, Ghazni, Helmand, Herat, Kapisa, Takhar, Kunduz, Parwan and Badakhshan were provinces, where widespread fraud was committed in the entry test.
“The fraud was extensive in a majority of these provinces that include Kabul as well.”
The professor said 400 individual had been arrested in Kabul for committing fraud in entry test.
Answer keys were sold for $5,000 to students in Herat, he said, adding the questions were changed after the PUA raised the issue with higher education ministry officials.
Qais also displayed some photos showing armed forces at an entry test scene, something he called as illegal act.
“The ministry of higher education officials, teachers and some other individuals are involved in the fraud during the exam. It is unclear as yet how the notebooks and answer keys reached the students and who did it,” Qais said.
Deputy PUA head Prof. Ismatullah Sajjad said their association had been expecting a fraud-free entry test this year, but unfortunately it broke the previous records of cheating.
He said such illegal activities weakened the quality of higher education and politicised the entry test.
But MoHE spokesman Mohammad Azim Norbaksh told Pajhwok Afghan News the allegations of widespread fraud in the test were baseless. He said his ministry had been able to conduct transparent test with support from private sector universities.
He said some individuals accused of fraud had already been detained and the issue would be explained soon.
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