Doubts cast on university entry test result
KABUL (Pajhwok): Recent entry test results show 79 percent students among 1,000 participants obtaining above 339 marks belong to northern Balkh province.
Among 1,000 brilliant students, 792 belong to Balkh, 133 hail from capital Kabul, 27 from Herat, nine from Takhar, seven from Sar-i-Pul, nine from Faryab, six from Ghazni, three from Jawzjan, six from Farah, two from Nangarhar, two from Daikundi and one each from Uruzgan, Baghlan, Parwan and Maidan Wardak provinces.
As many as 226,988 high school graduates appeared in last fall’s Kankor exam, with 18,808 students from Balkh making eight percent of the total participants.
But some people wondered how 70 percent students from a single province could obtain the highest marks.
Eng. Faridon Alokozai, a teacher at Kabul University’s engineering department, said: “I have come to know about cheating on a massive scale in the exam.”
He said he had analysed the test results that showed 80 percent of students from Balkh had obtained the highest marks.
He said most Balkh students had gotten similar marks with little differences. “Such incidents happen when students find access to the answers before the exam.”
Alokozai said invigilators and other staff in Balkh had been threatened of grave consequences if tried to impose rules of the exam.
He said teachers could not register their complaints with provincial officials due the warning they received during the exam process in Balkh.
Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, the deputy head of the Wolesi Jirga’s commission on religious and cultural affairs, said he had no information about Balkh students getting the highest marks.
The lawmaker, however, said irregularities took place in every Kankor test and that happened this year as well.
He said some complaints had been lodged with the lower house’s commission and that Higher Education Ministry officials had acknowledged irregularities during the exam.
Earlier, officials have said around 8,000 students caught cheating during the exam had been declared as failed.
Mohammad Siddique Patman, a former higher education minister, confirmed irregularities during the recent Kankor test, which he said badly affected the results.
He said the quality of education was better in Kabul than Balkh and it was unbelievable that highest percentage went to Balkh students. He recalled Daikundi students were among highest marks scorers in the exam two years ago.
Patman said powerful individuals were often able to find answers key or offer bribes to obtain high marks for their children.
He added the current Kankor system was 50 years old and should be overhauled to prevent cheating.
But Kankor committee member Dr. Lutfullah Haqparast told Pajhwok Afghan News the exam process had been transparent throughout the country.
He said it showed talent that one thousand students of Balkh had obtained above 79 percent marks.
He insisted the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) kept answer sheets at secure places this year to prevent them from being leaked like previous years.
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