Matric/SSC, inter, entrance exams VCs want centralized authority

Category: Education, Examinations Boards, Universities

SSC, inter, entrance exams VCs want centralized authority
LAHORE (August 20, 2011) : Vice chancellors of various public sector universities have recommended that there is an urgent need to establish a centralised authority at the provincial level to conduct matriculation and intermediate level examinations and subsequent entrance tests for admission to professional medical and engineering institutions.
The vice chancellors were also of the view that question banks should be developed and examinations be transformed into computerised exam system having in-built capacity of presenting shortanswer and multiple choice questions in different sequence and preparing results. Such a system would help discourage cheating and corruption in the examination system, they opined.
A sub-committee of vice chancellors will finalise the recommendations and present those to the chief minister shortly.
These suggestions were made in a meeting of vice chancellors and controllers of examinations of various public sector universities called to discuss “Entrance test and Examination System” chaired by Chief Minister’s adviser Zafar Iqbal Qureshi at Punjab University’s undergraduate block auditorium on Saturday.
The meeting hosted by Punjab University was called on the instructions of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who had taken serious notice of the recent lapses in the entrance test and examinations.
Stating that the current examination system was suffering from structural problems, the VCs stressed the need for taking bold decisions while bringing about structural changes instead of cosmetic modifications.
University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences VC nominee Prof Dr Naseem Ahmad said: “The varsity is already running the computerised examination system and the students get their results as soon as they click to end the paper on computers.” On the suggestion to set up a central examining body, a VC suggested that the body might be called Punjab Admission Testing Authority and it should be run on non-profit basis.
Punjab University ViceChancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran said the entrance test was an issue for professional colleges and that needed to be addressed at their level. However, another VC confronted this stance and said that only 12 per cent of students opted for professional colleges, while the rest joined general education universities and they were also needed to be re-assessed before granting them admission to the universities.
Referring to the academies `mafia’ that thrive on entrance tests conducted by the engineering and health universities, the VCs suggested that the entrance tests should be held after the declaration of results that would substantially decrease the number of appli cants to be managed by the entrance test holding body. On the other hand, a less number of candidates would go to private academies for preparation.
A few vice chancellors observed that the need for holding the entrance tests arose as they could not rely on the results declared by respective education boards in the province. They said that the education boards must improve their practices in the examination centres and added that only fool-proof exam system at intermediate level could lead to the abolition of entrance test system.
A vice chancellor said that infrastructure at respective examination centres should be improved and even CCTV cameras be installed to check the menace of cheating.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Higher Education Secretary Haseeb Athar said the vice chancellors should constitute an informal forum and keep on meeting to resolve issues being faced by them.
He endorsed the suggestion that there should be an independent examining body or the holding of entrance test should be outsourced. He also endorsed that question banks should be developed for different set of examinations.
The officials from the National Testing Service (NTS) were reportedly not allowed to make their presentation and were snubbed for comparing themselves with the SAT examination system that had over five decades of experience.
‘NO-GO’ AREA: The Punjab University’s undergraduate block was on Saturday “cordoned off” where vice chancellors and controllers of examinations met to discuss entrance test and the examination system.
Though Saturday is off in the Punjab University, still strict security measures were taken by the security wing currently being headed by vice chancellor’s honorary adviser Col Ikramullah (retired).
All roads – Faisal Auditorium, Registrar Office, VC House and Pakistan Study Centre — leading to the undergraduate block were blocked and security officials were deputed there.
A few visitors who came to the administration block were seen baffled over the security measures and they kept on asking the guards that what type of meeting was going on that needed such an heightened security measures.

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