PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education Department (K-P ESED) kicked-off assessments for grades V and VII students in public schools across the province and Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata).
However, the private educational institutes criticised the V and VIII grade assessments of students under the educational boards and termed it against the law.
Under the Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education in province the universal assessments for 5th and 8th grades has started in K-P and Fata all government schools which will be continue till March 14.
The purpose of these assessments is to improve quality of education in K-P since these assessments will provide information about shortcomings which will help planners address service delivery in effective manners.
On the other hand on August 3, 2017 Peshawar High Court (PHC) had suspended the K-P government’s decision which had directed both the government and private educational institutions to conduct grades 5th and 8th examinations in the province.
On February, 14 K-P ESED issued a notification stated that the competent authorities approved grade 5th and 8th assessment as mandatory for all students of public school of K-P and Fata The notification further directed all eight boards of intermediate and secondary education to conduct grade 5th and 8th assessment in their respective jurisdictions within K-P and Fata.
Talking to The Express Tribune K-P ESED official wishing not to be named shared that private schools owners and association representatives had challenged government decision of grade 5th and 8th assessments in court while court had suspended government ordered. He informed that in February court allowed K-P government to conduct the examinations and according to them K-PE&ED ordered boards to conduct the assessments. The official informed that due to limited time government decided to conduct assessments only in public schools while next year it would extend to private schools as well.
However, on the other hand National Education Council of Pakistan Chairman Nazar Hussain rejected government decision and termed it according to against the 1995 Act.
He said that according to board calendar a board cannot take examination below 9th grade and above 12th grade. He said that this 5th and 8th grade assessments is illegal and private schools will never allow government to impose this system on private educational institutes.
He criticised the current examination system in the province and said that these kinds of examinations promote cheating cultural in our education institutions. He asked government to first review this system and control the cheating system in schools.
K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Muhammad Atif Khan on his social media page posted that these assessments are specifically focused on the children in order to identify, evaluate and improve the analytical and critical thinking of the students as well as the professional development of the teachers to better educate and equip the country’s next generation.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2018.