KARACHI: The Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) has decided to use optical mirror recognition (OMR) machines to scan the objective portion of examination papers in order to escape the chance of human error in the assessment process.
BSEK Chairperson Prof Dr Saeeduddin said this while commenting on the systematic changes being brought in the matric board. He remarked that OMR was already being used in tabulating surveys' data and National Testing Services had also been using it in its tests.
Regarding the upcoming matriculation examinations, Dr Saeeduddin said the BSEK would organise a two-day workshop on the assessment of papers in the first week of March. He said that this time, the pages of the answer copy would be increased from 18 to 24 in order to facilitate the students who wanted to write more.
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The BSEK chairperson stated that when students demanded extra pages, it wasted their time and disrupted their concentration, besides leaving the possibility of tampering with or loss of those extra pages, which is why pages had been added in the main answer sheet. Dr Saeeduddin added that if students needed more pages even after this, they would have to be stitched instead of stapled as stapling was not reliable and there was a chance of stapled sheets detaching from the main answer sheet.
The board has reduced the number of examination centres, the BSEK chairperson said, adding that only those schools would be made centres which were on proper locations and had required logistics so that effective monitoring was possible during examinations. The list of examination centres would be displayed at the board office and uploaded on the board's website at least 15 days before the exams, Dr Saeeduddin declared.
Regarding invigilation, Dr Saeeduddin said only senior teachers who had a reputation for their integrity would be assigned duties as invigilators. He maintained that the services of the best available subject teachers would be hired for the assessment of answer copies. The BSEK chairperson announced that assessment centres would be set up within the board's premises in order to make the process credible.
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The matric board head mentioned that the BSEK had adopted the policy of making maximum use of information technology to enhance efficiency and credibility in its entire process of examinations.