RAWALPINDI: The Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) plans to train two teachers from each district as master trainers to conduct examinations and prepare the results for grades five and eight.
The master trainers will also be tasked with preparing evaluation reports for teachers’ performance and students’ learning achievements.
The idea has not gone down well with teachers, who argue that it would be a futile exercise unless subject specialists and experts were inducted in the PEC to train them. They also said that the body should be devolved to district and tehsil level and populated by professional staff to get the desired results.
The master trainers will further train 40 teachers in their respective districts every year to prepare them to make arrangements for conducting exams and preparing evaluation reports on teachers’ performance and students’ learning.
On the basis of the master trainers’ evaluation reports, the PEC will prepare a comprehensive annual report about teachers’ performance and students’ weaknesses to further improve the whole examination process and keep a check on the teachers, said a Rawalpindi Education Department official.
The teachers termed the initiative a ‘waste of time and money” and a ploy to hoodwink donors to extract funds from them.
Punjab Teachers Union Secretary-General Rana Liaquat said that the practice was an excuse to ‘misappropriate’ funds given by donor agencies’ for the education sector.
“The PEC will show the evaluation reports of the master trainers to foreign donors just to tell them all is well, and get more funds,” Liaquat said, adding that the PEC needed to be dissolved, as, according to him, “unprofessional and irrelevant” people dominate the body.
A Rawalpindi Education Department official, however, said that though the PEC spends Rs760 million on examinations annually, it does not evaluate the teachers’ performance or students’ learning achievements.
He said that the PEC wants the whole process of conducting exams, marking papers and preparing results to be done by trained teachers, leaving only preparation of papers to the PEC.
He claimed that teachers usually manipulate annual reports to escape departmental action and the PEC wants the reports to be prepared by the master trainers and the trained teachers.
At the same time, PTU District President Raja Shahid Mubarak, who teaches at the Government Boys Elementary School in Sarketar, Murree, claimed that even the results prepared by master trainers were usually changed by the PEC to punish the teachers.
“Last year, the PEC released 14 per cent results about the teachers’ overall performance, but following a protest by the teachers, the results were immediately changed and it jumped to 44 per cent,” Mubarak claimed.
He alleged that the PEC has become a bogus body and it should be taken to task for its incompetence.
He suggested that the PEC should devolve its power to district and tehsil levels and it should be run by professionals including researchers, educationists, psychologists and analysts.
“Professionals and subject specialists should be tasked with conducting fifth and eighth grade exams and to evaluate teachers and students performances,” said Raja Ayaz Satti, a teacher at Government Islamia High School No-1, Rawalpindi.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2014.