Many high achievers have made history by obtaining 100 percent marks in matriculation and intermediate exams. While it must be good news for the students and their parents, the examination institutions are in a dilemma. More so, the Medial and Engineering institutions face the predicament of how to accommodate the high achievers coming in droves. How has the intellectual level of our students suddenly gone up surprises everyone? Starting from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Punjab, there seems no dearth of geniuses who scored hundred percent marks. But instead of feeling upbeat about the fabulous achievement of “high achievers,” the Pakhtunkhwa education minister has set up a fact-finding committee to determine how the students obtained hundred percent marks. The minister, instead of being proud of the sudden upsurge in students’ achievement, thought otherwise. But he cannot be blamed for doubting students’ high achievements and the examination system. Similar probe committees should be set up in Punjab to investigate how more than 98 percent students passed the exams, many of them securing hundred percent marks. For instance, 700 students obtained hundred percent marks in the matriculation examination in the Punjab boards of secondary education. Reports from various districts of central Punjab to southern Punjab show a similar state of high-achievers. Problem now faced by various degree colleges and professional institutions is how to assess the true ability and level of assimilation of knowledge of the students who apply for admissions in intermediate pre-engineering and pre-medical subjects. Similarly, medical and engineering colleges will have to decide how to accommodate a huge number of students with hundred percent marks. Ethics, morality, and sense of commitment are unknown commodities. On the other hand, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology has suggested the most persuasive antidote on how to manage the high-achievers’ issue. They must go through an entry test when seeking admissions in professional educational institutions. Many students, especially those belonging to backward districts of southern Punjab, have always resisted the idea of entry tests. For instance, a student from Districts Dera Ghazi Khan or Muzafargarh who secures 100 percent marks in pre-engineering intermediate exam considers it his right to get admission in the engineering college, without taking an entry test. How he managed to obtain such high marks is another story. It’s the result of a shoddy examination system in the backward areas. Use of influence and cheating put the students in the category of high-achievers. If such students were indeed capable and scored marks on merit, they shouldn’t shy away from appearing in the entry tests. Obtaining 80 to 90 per cent marks in languages was rare in the eighties and nineties. As an aside, it is sad to note that our education system fails to produce genuinely educated individuals with a civic sense. Most of the students churned out as graduates and postgraduates by various institutions lack manners, courtesy and basic etiquettes for getting along in everyday life. They appear and behave more like a mob than radiate the virtues of civility and politeness of good human beings. Ethics, morality, and sense of commitment are unknown commodities. Our roads present an ideal scene of our collective behaviour to ride roughshod. A life in the jungle! Much blame should go to the politicians who set a bad example for the people to follow. Rowdyism and use of un-parliamentary language by them don’t raise eyebrows anymore. Grace and finesse are the casualty. Were we always like this? Not really. We were a much civilised nation in the fifties to seventies. We degraded from a disciplined nation to an undisciplined one. Soon, the education system of the country will experiment with the Single National Curriculum starting from primary to secondary classes. The SNC emphasises teaching and learning Arabic to enable students to understand the Holy Quran. Proponents of the curriculum believe that teaching Arabic in primary and secondary classes will turn out better citizens. Teaching Arabic with grammar will be mandatory even for the high-end schools that prepare students for O’ Level and A’ Level exams. How teaching Arabic as a language will produce good humans is beyond comprehension! Instead of experimenting with the education system, we should simply follow the educational systems of the developed countries. Teaching science and technology should be given top priority instead of teaching languages. After all, the western countries dominate the world only because of the progress they made in science and technology and not by teaching languages. And obtaining 100 percent marks is hardly an achievement; it reflects poorly on the existing examination system. The writer is a Lahore-based columnist and can be reached at pinecity @gmail.com.