97% of people failed written part of 2013 CSS exam

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FPSC report highlights poor education standards, ridiculous answers by candidates. PHOTO: FILE


While it is not as if those who succeeded in the last decade or so are doing any better, the aspirants of the civil services in the latest examinations have sunk even lower in terms of quality of their answers. And as a result, a whopping 97 per cent failed but not without amusing the examiners with their answers.

A soon-to- be- released annual report on the Central Superior Services (CSS) exams by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) for 2013 is a poignant comment on the deteriorating quality of education in the country.

There are some interesting observations by the examiners who conducted the written part of the 2013 CSS examinations, a source familiar with the report said requesting anonymity.

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“Education is dealt with as a commodity,” said an examiner adding  that “education has become a corporate product. More than 97 per cent candidates failed in the written examination.”

The commission will submit the report to President Mamnoon Hussain and to the parliament before making it public.

According to the report 10,400 candidates out of a total of 11,400, have failed in the essay writing, 8,500 in current affairs and 7,500 in the English language paper. A total of 6,000 were unsuccessful in general knowledge (Pakistan Affairs) and 5,200 in everyday science.

According to some examiners, the performance of the majority of the candidates in English writing and expression was shocking. The examiner was of the view that candidates relied on stereotypical substandard materials available in the market instead of using their own mind and intelligence for an innovative  approach.

They have demonstrated flaws both in comprehension and expression.

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The second subject which exposed the skill of 7,500 candidates was English (Precis and Composition). The aspirants lacked clear thinking, critical analysis and orderly construction. They were unaware of what precise is and how it is structured. Several candidates simply reproduced the text. The overall standard of grammar produced by the candidates was very poor.

In General Knowledge, performance of 98 per cent was unsatisfactory whereas about 6,000 candidates failed in  Pakistan Affairs. They could not grasp the questions. Spellings were horrible.

Many candidates gave funny replies to questions pertaining to Islamic jurisprudence.

While writing reply to a question many candidates answered ‘Al-Ahliyyah’ means wife whereas it means legal capacity of a person.

Likewise several candidates in their answers wrote “it was decided by Ijma in the life of Holy Prophet (PBUH).”

A lot of candidates said that “The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has permitted in the Holy Quran” while the answer should have said Allah had permitted it in the Quran.

The results are a sad reflection of our fast declining education standard, admitted a highly placed source in the Higher Education Commission (HEC) requesting anonymity.

The report has criticised the public and private sector universities for the alarming decline in the educational standard and blamed the HEC for the entire situation.

“The HEC despite spending billion of rupees on education has failed to regulate the universities, said a former vice-chancellor of the Quaid-i-Azam University who wished to not to be named.

Next year’s CSS result could be even more terrible if the HEC does not play its role in reversing the rot, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2014.