Medical entrance tests: PHC tells police to install jammers, deploy force at centres

ETEA chief warned of inquiry if irregularities reported in Sept 23 test


Hidayat Khan September 14, 2018
PHOTO: PPI/FILE

PESHAWAR: The top cop of the province Thursday was directed by a high court to assist the provincial testing service in conducting transparent medical entrance tests by installing jammers and deploying police outside test centres.

This was directed by a two-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan while hearing a case relating to entry tests for medical colleges in the province.

The bench warned the Education Testing and Evaluation Authority (ETEA) Executive Director Israrullah that if any irregularity was reported this time around, he will be held responsible and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will be directed to initiate an inquiry against him.

“We have serious concerns regarding the way [ETEA] is conducting the tests. We cannot just shut our eyes to the irregularities,” remarked Justice Qaiser while issuing directions to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Inspector General of Police Salahuddin Mehsud.

“The test was first postponed due to rains and then the paper was leaked and was even available on Facebook a day before the test,” the judge remarked.

The ETEA was conducting entrance tests for medical colleges and institutions across the province. The tests, organised by the Khyber Medical University (KMU), were being held simultaneously at seven centres across the province. After postponing the first test in July owing to bad weather, results of the second test held on August 19 had to be cancelled after it emerged that the test paper had been leaked in advance.

Some 38,000 students will be appearing in the test after it was scheduled to be held again on September 23.

ETEA is K-P’s educational testing entity set up in 1998 and is supervised by a board of governors headed by the chief minister. The higher education minister and higher education secretary are on its board while the ETEA executive director is the secretary of the board.

“ETEA needs to come up with clear-cut standard operating procedures (SoPs) which ensure transparency, security of documentation and protection of internal procedures,” suggested IG Mehsud.

“Until there is a proper SoP approved by the relevant authorities, there will be issues,” he told the court.

In the last hearing of the case, the K-P police chief and NAB K-P Chief Farmanullah Khan had been directed to appear before the court and discuss ways to conduct the test in a fair manner.

Mehsud recalled that when they conducted internal tests for the police department through the ETEA they too faced a number of issues, some of which had been brought to the court to resolve.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2018.

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