ISLAMABAD: The two samples of Miss Farah Hameed Dogar’s answer sheets reveal another aspect of scandalous jacking up of her marks.
The answer sheets were made part of the Islamabad High Court’s recent judgment to prove Â“irregularities” that were cited as the reason for the re-assessment of her papers. In one case pertaining to the paper of Physics II, despite her answer being incorrect, Miss Farah was given two marks while that part carried only one mark. In case of Urdu paper, despite making four mistakes in a two-line answer, she was given two marks out of three.
After this correspondent secured the question papers of Physics II and Urdu for the Federal Board HSSC-II Examinations 2008 and compared the same with the two samples, as reproduced in the IHC judgment, it is also revealed that the judgment pointed out a wrong answer for the Physics II answer reproduced in the verdict.
On page 13, the judgment said: “On visual examination of Physics-II paper, answer to question No 5(b) is given below: – “No, the plates of capacitor is not of different sizes; however to decrease the electrostatic factor a dielectric medium is putted in between them.”
Then the judge wrote: “The examiner crossed the question and awarded zero mark. Later on, he gave one mark. On re-evaluation (re-assessment), another mark was added.” It means that in this particular question of the paper, the candidate got two marks.
The question paper, however, shows that the above answer pertains to XIV (b) of Q.2, which reads as: “A capacitor is connected across a battery: (b) Is this true even if the plates are of different sizes?” It carries total one mark as part XIV, having three sub-parts Â— a, b and c – had total three marks. Against the answer reproduced above, the candidate, when reassessed, got two marks against the part that carried only one mark. It means even if Miss Farah’s answer was 100 per cent correct, she would not have got more than one mark, but she got two.
Q.5(b) as referred by the IHC is irrelevant to the answer reproduced and reads as: “What is meant by half life of a radioactive element? How can it be determined from the decay constant of radioactive element?” And if the answer reproduced is considered as answer to Q.5(b), it is straightaway incorrect.
The Chairman Department of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Dr Hoodbhoy, when contacted, said that in the Physics II sample in which Miss Farah was given two marks after the controversial reassessment, she actually deserved zero.
“I have seen the question sent to me which reads: “A capacitor is connected across a battery,” as well as the answer given by the examinee, said to be Ms Farah Dogar. The answer is incorrect and deserves zero mark,” Dr Hoodbhoy conveyed to The News in his written answer sent through an e-mail.
In Urdu paper, according to the judgment, one mark was awarded in answer to a question, reproduced in the judgment, while after re-assessment; the candidate was given an additional mark. The question paper of Urdu, as obtained by The News, shows that the question – 2(i) – that asked Babar’s toughness carries total three marks, out of which Miss Farah got two marks despite making two spelling mistakes and two mistakes of idioms. In a language paper, spelling and grammatical mistakes are taken seriously, but in Miss Farah’s case, after one mark, she was given two marks.
In both the sample answers, reproduced in the judgment, the judge pointed out in both the cases that the examiner initially gave zero mark, but reviewed his own assessment later and gave one mark to each question. Through re-assessment, marks in both the questions were jacked up to two marks each.
After reproducing the two samples and the details of numbers originally given and revised, the judge said: “I do find some of the irregularities in other papers too. In such a situation, when the chairman examined the answer books of the papers in dispute, he made a decision, rightly so to direct re-assessment.”
Overlooking the scandalous flaws discussed above, the judge ruled: “There is nothing wrong in the marks increased in re-evaluation by the experts in the field and no exception can be taken by this court to the procedure adopted by (the) chairman and the re-evaluation made by examiners.”