LAHORE: Aitchison College has long boasted of instilling scrupulous values in its red brick building, generation after generation. The spirit of proficiency that the institute enthuses in its students in order to prepare them to excel in all walks of life is secret to none. Nevertheless, over the years, the college has made headlines for not its achievements, but interesting controversies. Only last year, the sacking of Dr Ghazanfar, the then principal, at the hands of the board of governors, for his refusal to bow down to the practices of nepotism prevalent in the administration, stimulated debates on all tables with regard to the institute’s credibility. Every year, the College administers admission tests for the upcoming K2 class, to embrace new breeds of deserving students in its folds. However, the oft-proclaimed emphasis upon merit in these tests was seen to divulge in some interesting developments this year. In order to ensure an environment free of all dishonourable practices, the College bars all students from removing any examination material from the prescribed rooms. However, it has been learnt that question papers of all subjects were circulating in full detail on messenger groups on both Wednesday and Thursday. Furthermore, many students were also seen exiting the examination rooms with annotated papers in their hands. It seems hard to believe that children aged six to seven years can note down the exact order of questions, hours after they have submitted the material, solely based on their memories. Hence, what may or may not have happened to ensure the provision of theses aides to some students, is largely up for speculation. Nevertheless, the nonchalant reaction of the administration present on the campus today further intensifies the worries of the already distraught parents. When inquired about the prevalence of dishonest practices, both Fatima Mubeen, headmistress, junior school, as well as Muhammad Afzal, Vice Principal, were either seen shrugging the matter off or remarking, “You Pakistanis always amaze me!” Much has already been written about the unleashed monstrosity of academic dishonesty and plagiarism prevalent in board examinations, administered by the government every year. Both civic society and educationists appear to stand in unison with regard to the detrimental impacts of these practices on the intellect of the future generations. However, the incidence of such episodes in the pristine institutes of the country, that too, at such basic level of schooling, exacerbates the already shambolic standards of the country’s education. In the past, Aitchison College has often faced similar situations where prior paper leakages have prompted the school administration to reconstruct the entire module. However, the administration has yet to announce its stance to console the grieving parents, whose children feel stripped of a just opportunity to assess their merit. If Aitchison College is to reinstate its position as a supreme institution of higher learning, it should address these issues on an immediate basis.