PESHAWAR: In a bid to streamline the examination system and to automate the recruitment process, a government-backed software initiative has developed a computer-based testing system.
Called ‘Imtehaan’ (or examination in Urdu), the system has been developed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Technology Board (K-PITB).
In a statement released on Thursday, K-PITB explained that the objective of developing the programme was to ensure efficient governance using information and communications technology for better public service delivery, higher transparency and accountability, and to instil a better trust relationship between the government and citizens.
In the case of Imtehaan, they hoped it would ensure efficiency, transparency and credibility of the recruitment process.
To check the capability of the programme, K-PITB said that they had conducted mock tests in five districts of the province simultaneously on Thursday. These districts included Malakand, Mardan, Haripur, Kohat and Peshawar.
The tests were conducted under the joint supervision of K-PITB and the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Public Service Commission (K-PPSC) staff at each location. The science and technology and information technology (STIT) secretary reviewed the mock test at the Peshawar centre.
Officials said that one of the many features of the software was that it can provide results soon after the candidate completes the computer-based test. This, officials hope, will considerably speed up the exam checking process, promote transparency and provide almost instant gratification for the candidates.
They explained that the questions are multiple choice and that the software can randomise the order of the answers to ensure merit and eliminate cheating.
The system banks on a highly encrypted ‘question bank’, which will have questions covering all the subjects required by the K-PPSC for various vacancies in several government departments.
The automated exam paper setting feature will further ensure transparency.
Moreover, the exam centre management feature of the software will automate the allocation of exam centres for candidates which will not only free up human resource for more critical tasks but will also immensely speed up exam schedule to make the recruitment process more efficient.
The K-PPSC plans to conduct a pilot test for ‘Imtehaan’ in the coming weeks as it holds tests for government vacancies.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2018.