BISE Online System Fails Its ‘Entrance Test’
Lahore: The Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education’s newly-introduced online system for submitting admission and other forms has failed to facilitate the candidates who ended up facing inconvenience even more than they face in the manual system. So much so that some board officials have been quoted as ridiculing the system: “online means come and stand in line.”
The Lahore board has this year introduced the online system to receive admission forms for the FA/FSc supplementary examination for 2010, scheduled to begin on Oct 27. The pilot project was meant to facilitate the candidates while submitting their admission forms. The board also instructed the government colleges in its jurisdiction to send admission forms online – not only of their students but also of private candidates who would approach them. Accordingly, it issued codes to respective colleges.
The board also announced that the private candidates should visit IT labs in government colleges near their homes and send their admission forms online. What the whole concept promised on paper hardly came about in reality as the IT labs in government colleges refused to entertain more than 95 per cent of the private candidates on the plea that “the system is not working”.
Having no other option, the candidates rushed to the board offices to submit their admission forms, where another shock was awaiting them. Hundreds of students (and their parents) stood in queues to get the online admission forms and they spent many hours there.
The officials at counters ask each candidate his annual examination roll number and generate his admission form having printed name as well as information about the amount of fee to be deposited with the designated banks. The candidates are required to fill in admission forms, paste photographs, get the forms attested and verified and then return a copy to the board. Some board officials consider this exercise futile because the board has complete particulars of the candidates, which they had provided in the last FA/FSc Part-I annual examination.
After getting admission forms, the candidates are required to shift to queues in front of the banks and then again wait for hours to submit their examination fees.
Some of the candidates told Dawn that what use the online system when they still had to stand in board offices and do everything manually.
As for the online system, the board officials say it requires that candidates get the challan forms downloaded from the board website, submit admission fee in banks and then upload the challan form online. The online system has proved a failure as it could not facilitate even one per cent of the only around 40,000 candidates for the supplementary examination.
How the board will manage when over 400,000 candidates will apply to appear for the FA/FSc annual examination for 2011 can be anybody’s guess.
Meanwhile, the online system has proved a nerve-racking experience also for those applying for re-checking of answer-scripts. One such example is of a colleague who downloaded a re-checking form from board’s website for his son and filled it before going to board offices to submit the form along with fee of Rs600 as mentioned on the website. However, there was altogether different scenario in board offices, where the candidate and his father were told that the downloaded form would not be acceptable and he should purchase a new re-checking form to avoid hassle.
They purchased a new re-checking form that cost them Rs50, though the form had a printed price of Rs20. After filling in the form, they went to the bank where they were told that the re-checking fee had been increased to Rs700.
BISE (Lahore) Secretary Mushtaq Ahmad Tahir told Dawn that the board was replacing the old manual system with modern online system and facing teething troubles because everything was new. He said the board was resolving each and every problem as it had to prepare itself for facilitating 450,000 candidates for the next annual examinations.
He admitted that the candidates also faced problems in board offices when internet or website failed. He said he got the online system activated at the APWA College; the Islamia College, Cooper Road, the Dyal Singh College etc, but the students were not going there.
The board secretary said he had announced that the board offices would remain open on Saturday to facilitate the candidates in submitting their admission forms but only 100 to 150 candidates submitted forms. The board offices would witness massive rush on Monday (today) – the last date for submitting forms, he said.