Immediate interventions needed to improve quality of examinations: Chairman FBISE

ISLAMABAD: Chairman, Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) Ikram Ali Malik Friday emphasized on the need to take immediate interventions to improve the quality of examination system.

He stated this while delivering a lecture on his recent research study “Quality and standardization: A twin-dilemma of public examinations at higher secondary school level in Pakistan”.

The lecture was part of the Social Sector Research Seminar Series under the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.

Sharing his study, Chairman FBISE informed the participants about the triangular phenomenon ie. curriculum, pedagogy and examination of the education system and the role of examination system as wash back effect on the whole educational system.

The concept of modern educational assessment, co-existence of multiple and poorly coordinated examination boards and their priority agenda with focus on quantitative progression as an indicator of their accomplishment were highlighted in the event.

He said the teachers focus to teach for testing to get good score by the students in an examination than learn in school to pass an examination with high grades after which students get good name in eyes of public but deprive of required learning outcomes.

The reasons for why the public education of Pakistan up to secondary school level not delivering desired and uniform quality of output were also discussed in details.

Results and conclusion of the study were shared with the participants that glowing variation in question papers at intra-and-inter board levels have been observed in comparison to international standards.

Overall low performance of students from across all examining bodies in entry test in comparison to the same at Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) or equivalent examinations was also observed.

In the study, apart from inter-provincial disparity in quality of examinations, intra-regional disparity is also visible within provinces.

Amazingly, performance of boards operating in provincial capitals and major cities of various provinces predominated with urban and sub-urban population have been mediocre during the entry tests in comparison their counterparts with large rural population despite the fact that allied facilities and academic opportunities in urban areas are more conducive.

Relatively weaker role of majority of examining bodies towards performance of students during entry test calls for immediate interventions to improve the quality of examination system.

Domino effect study validate the notion of non-standardized examination output of various examining bodies and provide good reasons for alternate tests conducted by professional universities for admission and employers in recruitment.

However, validity, reliability and standardization of these alternate tests are also required to be ascertained for level playing field and fair competition amongst students from all examining bodies across the country.

The speaker of the seminar briefed about the need of departing from rote-to-higher order testing skills/examinations and other interventions required to improve the quality of examination system.

Dr Asma Hyder, Member (Social Sector & Devolution), Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform thanked and appreciated the efforts of Dr. Ikram Ali Malik for sparing his time, sharing his study and experience with the participants.