By Farman Nawaz
The Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education of KPK have started to assess the students of 5thgrade by conducting an assessment examination. This year private educational institutions are also asked to enroll its students for the assessment examination.
Preparing students for two annual exams is the logic still not clear to private schools. How can a student of 5th grade study for two different exams whose criteria are totally different? Internal exams are taken in the course books while the papers of assessment exams are prepared according to the age group of the students. There are no recommended books for these assessment examinations. How can average and below average students appear in such examinations?
Educational Boards claim that this system will end the rote system in schools. But it must be crystal clear that rote system is because of the exercises given at the end of each chapter. Teaching techniques also promote rote system as well.
Still it is not clear why 5th grade students are selected for this vague examination. Why the students of higher classes are exempted? For assessment why all the schools should enroll their all students? Why not only randomly selected students? And still people are not clear why KPK government is assessing 5th grade students. Educational Boards are threating the private schools that if students are not enrolled then it can affect the school affiliation with the boards at matriculation level.
The question is that class 5 and 8 examinations were conducted by boards in the past but then why these board exams were discontinued. Still there are loop holes in the Secondary and Intermediate level examinations of the board. Starting new experiment at primary level will only introduce the young children with the menace of cheating. It is a fact that still educational boards have not solved the malpractices in matric and inter level board examinations. Imran Khan often gives examples of other countries while criticizing the Pakistani system. It would be a blessing for the people of KPK if PTI informs them that how many countries the fifth grade examination is in practice.
According to media reports the owners and principals of private schools in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have rejected the provincial government’s decision to conduct the 5th grade exams through the education board.
A protest demonstration in this regard was organised under the aegis of the National Education Council, an association of private schools in Pakistan, in front of the Peshawar Press Club. Participants of the protest said the 5th grade course is different at different private schools and taking assessment test from the students under the education board in these circumstances is not favourable. They said most of the students will fail this test due to different education courses at their schools.
The protesters while accusing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in KP of implementing foreign and NGOs sponsored policies in the educational institutions, vowed that such policies will not be allowed.
This examination is conducted by a private firm. It indicates that educational boards are either not able to conduct this examination or the other possibility is to provide the funds to private firm will pave way for easy corruption.
One of the objectives of the government is conducting 5th grade examination through a private firm would evaluate performance of primary schools’ teachers on the basis of which they would be either rewarded or punished accordingly. Here it must be noticed that so far government has not applied this criteria of reward and punishment on Secondary and intermediate level.
Examination boards in the United Kingdom (sometimes called awarding bodies or “awarding organisations”) are the examination boards responsible for setting and awarding secondary education level qualifications, such as GCSEs, Standard Grades, A Levels, Highers and vocational qualifications, to students in the United Kingdom. There is no concept of primary level board examination.
The need is to strengthen the basis pf primary education system in Pakistan. Primary education is the base of education system. Still we have problem of illiteracy and girls’ education. Doesn’t it sound weird that instead of planning for eradication of illiteracy and malpractices in the examination system, the KPK government is interested to enroll 5thgrade students for board examination.
The Bannu Times (Online)