Why the Need of new Examination System in Pakistan


WHY THE NEED OF NEW EXAMINATION SYSTEM IN PAKISTAN

This study focused on evaluating the quality of the examination system of Pakistan. Pakistan education is going down day by day. The purpose of this study is to find the causes of this detracted process in Pakistan. The objectives are: to evaluate the examination system in Pakistan, to find the causes of this deteriorated examination system, to suggest some measure to improve the examination system in Pakistan.
The current examination system is obsolete; it did not fulfill the requirement of 21th century. This education and examination system was left for us by British after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The purpose of this education system was to prepare clerical staff in the subcontinent to run the day to day activities of the offices. For which the British officers were not ready to do it. They wanted people who help them, e.g., to control the mass illiterate population, they want people with no brain; they need the people who can count and calculate. They need people who can write reports in English for their officers. Who can extend their stay in the subcontinent. For this purpose they design an education system that can produce brainless people, who can't think just act on the orders of their officers. They do not want leaders and thinkers in the occupied territory. They want people who obey order not to argue and raise the questions.
Unfortunately after the independence of Pakistan, no one gives serious thoughts to improve education system in Pakistan. Especially, after 1971 when democracy was restored in the country and the feudal and capitalist who took control of the country, they imposed the same colonial education system for common people. For elite class they established private schoolssystem which was very expensive. To prevent people from getting good education, they implemented education polices that hinders the efforts of people to get good education. Following are the major
Reasons / Hinders of public education system in Pakistan.
·        Medium of  instruction
·        Curriculum
·        Examination system
·        Bureaucracy of Pakistan
·        The policy makers
·        The elite class of Pakistan
In this article the focus will be on Examination system of Pakistan. However, to have good examination system we need to have a look at the Examination system of developed countries. The Examination system of the United States of America is a very good model.
In their examination system Students are marked on course they took in each subject studied from K to 12th class and the Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated. Marks are dependent on their performance in different area, including student's performance in tests in the school, participation in class discussions, homework assignments, and school projects which they have selected.

Examination System in the US


High schools issue school ‘transcript' for each student showing their marks and grades, summarizing the courses taken. If a student wishes to go to college he can submit copies of his transcript to the college. College or university acceptance is also based upon personal recommendations from teachers and eligibility criteria. In some colleges and universities these school mark's sheet are not accepted. They only accept SAT and AST Test score for admission. For those institution's Students have to take national college aptitude tests during their last two years in high school, some colleges require Achievement (Ach) Tests. These Tests are based on multiple-choice general type test, but they are designed to measure students aptitude and verbal and mathematical skills.
The known and widely used tests are the American College Testing (ACT) programme and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), both of these tests are recognized by accredited universities for admission.
The total SAT score is 1,600 in which half is for mathematical and half for verbal skills, with the average score usually between 900 and 1,000. Students must score over 650 in each section or a combined total of over 1,300.
High school exit exam is a test that a student must pass to receive his high school diploma. Sometimes states have a series of standardized exams for this purpose. These tests are often called “end-of-course exams” at the end of completion high school courses in various core subjects. In some states they require students to pass end-of-course exams in addition to a comprehensive exit exam. California, recently suspended its administration of exit exams.
Texas requires students to pass two types of exit exams. One the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), and the other is the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), at end-of-course exams when a student finishes a course. The TAKS test, test language, arts, math, science and social studies. While STAAR includes subjects like: English; Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra; Biology, Chemistry, and Physics; World History, US History, and World Geography.
 “Not too long ago more than half of U.S. states required that students pass an exam to graduate from high school. That is changing, with a number of states dropping their exit exams — but a good number still require them, and that, this post explains, is a big and unnecessary problem for many students”
A national uprising has highlighted the misuse and overuse of standardized testing that hurts students. Now different state is looking for way to end high school exit testing. In the last few years, 10 states have repealed or delayed high school exit exams. South Carolina, Georgia, Arizona and California even decided to issue diplomas to thousands of those students who have been denied due to scores on discontinued tests. The reasons for this retreat is research, which researcher conducted on exit testing, which shows that exit tests hurt the students. They increase dropout rates from education.
The Gates-funded New America think tank 2014 study, “The Case against Exit Exams,” declared, “New evidence has reinforced the conclusion that exit exams disproportionately affect a subset of students, without producing positive outcomes for most.” The study further concluded that “have tended to add little value for most students, but have imposed costs on already at-risk ones.”
In the USA there is no federal mandate requiring high school exit testing. Since the law No Child Left Behind was passed in 2001, federal law has required testing once of the students during the grades 9–12 in math, English language arts, and science.

Pakistan examination system
The examination system of Pakistan is based on colonial era, the education system that British imposed on us. The purpose of this education system was to produce only clerical Staff in subcontinent. After independence of Pakistan, different governments design education polices, but all these polices were fruitless. The demand of these polices was the quality in education, but the Burdon was put on the student's shoulders. The policy makers adopted old British era examination system. However with time they make it harder for the students to pass the exams and they called it a step forward toward quality education. The restoration of democracy in Pakistan in after 1971, the feudal took control of the government and the sole purpose of their education polices was to prevent common man from geting education in government public schools. In these polices the examination system is made harder and harder to increase dropout rate. Multiple time medium of instruction was changed. Board exams were introduced in different stages of education due to which millions of students drop out from the school without completing matric education. One of the worst experiment was in examination system was the combine exam of 9th and 10th class. This experiment was continued for more than two decades. Always the result of this exam was 20 to 25 percent pass. While majority of the fail students were dropout of schools without completing their matric education. Later in 2000 this experiment was stopped and 9th and 10th separate exams were started which improve the passing rate of the students and decrease the dropout from the schools.
After 2018 election people were hoping that PTI government will change the education, and will give the nation a good education policy, but they are also fail to do so. In the process they make a huge mistake to change the requirement criteria for employment of teacher without holding B.Ed. degree to get jobs in the school. This was not a very thoughtful decision because millions of trained teacher are without jobs and they started employing untrained teachers. The reason was the arrogance of the minister who gives an interview to newspapers for changing employment criteria. After objections on his decision from educationist and teachers, the KPK government made it compulsory to keep the words of their minister on the cost of education. Now there is a rumor that government are going for combine 9th and 10th class board exam. It shows that politicians did not learn from their fast mistakes. They may be the puppet of feudal and elite class who do not wants educated voters. This system suits feudal that needs illiterate people to vote for them in the election, the voters who don't know their rights, and the voter who doesn't ask questions. These voter still votes for the corrupt politicians who had been proven guilty on international level, who have billions of dollars and property abroad in several countries. However, still these mass illiterate people think that they are innocent and they vote for them again and again. They create hurdles in every step to prevent people from education and board exams are their best weapon to do so. A Ph.D. research study conducted in Punjab on the Issue of out of School Children in BISE Gujranwala.
Table 1.1 Five Years Class 9th Annual Examination Result of BISE Gujranwala

Year
Applied
Appeared
Passed
Passed
Percentage
Failed Percentage
2012
225031
221023
88649
40.11
59.89
2013
 213547
207883
79200
38.09
61.91
2014
243128
240088
87334
36.38
63.62
2015
 252548
248537
100857
40.58
59.42
2016
244454
240105
129670
54.01
45.99







Source: BISE Gujranwala, 2016

“Table shows that 45.99 percent students in 2016, 59.42 percent in 2015 and 63.62
 Percent in 2014, 61.91 percent in 2013 and 59.89 percent in 2012 respectively, failed in class 9 annual examinations at BISE Gujranwala. This is an indication that most of class 9 pupils are not able to complete the secondary school certificate, and consequently drop out. (Mughal, 2018)”
While the overall enrollments in Pakistan Secondary/High Schools, in Class IX-X were 3.6 million students in 2016-17. The average pass rate was 40%, while failing rate was 60%. With this rate of failure 2.4 million (2400000) students dropped out of the school without complementing their matriculation certificate.
While in Higher Secondary Classes XI-XII the total number of 1.75 million students enrolled, with the average pass rate in Pakistan approximately half million students' and 1.25 million dropped out at this level. In 2018-19 approximately 1.84 million will appear in the examination in which 1342850 (1.3 million) will be dropped out.

 
Table 1.2 Enrollment in High and Secondary Vocational Institutes

Enrollment in High and Secondary


Table 1.2 shows that during 1981 and 2007 approximately 19077200 (190.77 million) passed the exam while approximately 28615800 (286.15 million) failed the examination and dropped out of school.

Table 1.3 enrollment in high and higher secondary schools
 
Table 1.3: Numbers are in thousands

Table 1.3 shows that from 2012 to 2018 the numbers of students enrolled were 20508600 (205.08 million). . Keeping in view average of fail students every year at this level, the number of fail students will be approximately 12305160 (123.05 million).
While in higher secondary/inter 9342700 (9.34 million) were enrolled and the number of failed rate at this level based on the average will be approximately 6673357 (6.67 million).
What is the purpose of examination system?
The purpose of examination is multi-fold; to evaluate the students learning achievements, to evaluate the teaching of teachers. Is it a right approach of examination system? A good approach of examination system is to give a comprehensive chance to students for learning. The purpose of education examination system is to improve the learning and reading skill of the students.
The second purpose is to evaluate the teaching skills of the teachers, for this purpose the country need such examination system which help to achieve  both objectives of the examination system. The current board exams are very old and outdated. It did not improve the quality of education, but it decrease the numbers of dropout students in the country. It is the major reason that we are still lacking behind in education from other countries.
·        The first purpose of education examination system is to improve the learning and reading skill of the students. A good collection of objective type questions from the textbook up to three hundred questions which cover every page of the book. To solve these objectives, he will learn to read, it will also help him to comprehend and learn the information that is provided in the textbook. This test must also include inductive and deductive type questions, so it develops the reasoning skills of the students. This objective type test should be given as home base test and they should be given enough time to read the textbook and found the answers. This home based objectives type assignment could be divided in two parts. One hundred and fifty questions in first semester and the rest one hundred and fifty questions in the second semester for every textbook.
·        The second purpose is to evaluate the teaching skills of the teachers. With objectives type examination we can evaluate the teaching skills of the teacher on the base of the performance ofstudents' achievements in the test. A good result will show that teacher was committed to his teaching and he used every possible way to develop the reading and comprehension skills of the students. When the teacher knows that he will be accountable for the bad result of his students, he will make it possible that every student understand what he is teaching. For this very purpose the country need such examination system, which help to achieveboth the objectives of the examination. The current examination system is outdated. It did not achieve the literacy rate what we are looking for. Despite it creates hinders in the improvement of literacy rate.
In most of the develop countries objective type test is implemented for the evaluation of students learning and teacher evaluation. In the area where reading and writing skills assessment is require there they use subjective type test, e.g., English, mathematics, etc.
Conclusion
From analysis it is crystal clear that what we are doing with the education on the name of quality and board examinations. It is very hard and time-consuming to calculate the accurate drop out for the last 40 years (1980-2020) for secondary (9th and 10th) and higher secondary (intermediate) level. For this purpose data was collected using internet and easily available books, research and other government documents. Majority data is easily available, but five years of data from 2008 to 2011 is not available. The data were calculated on the bases of average of available data for the missing years, the margin of error is five percent on both sides.
From the data and its analysis it is evident that in last forty years 47020000 (470.2 million) students were dropped out from schools without completing their secondary school education and 29000000 (290 million) students were from the higher/ inter level. It shows that we are dropping out millions of students every year at different stages of school on the name of quality and board examinations. Most develop country like the United States could not afford that kind of strict examination system where the literacy rate is very high. That why majority of states are ending school exit exams. The students who are weak in a particular subject are to attend summer school system. In summer school system both students and teachers have to attend school in summer vacation because both are responsible for bad result.
Suggestions and Recommendations
1.     We need to end board exams and any other drop out exams like United States; the majority of their states are ending school exit exams.
2.     We need to change the internal examination system, to a system where students learn and acquire knowledge from examination and evaluate teacher teaching on students achievements.
3.     Home objective type test is recommended for every subject. Three multiple choice questions from each page of textbook, all the questions should be arranged randomly. About every objective type question the page number of the respective question should be mentioned so the student read the page and find out the answer. The purpose of this drill is that student read every page of a textbook three times to build the reading habit of the students. Do not give a very easily discoverable objective type question.
4.     For improving writing ability in Urdu, English and local language internal subjective type exam is recommended after every three months. Written test in mathematics and Islamic studies.
5.     For improving writing skills of the students, dairy writing must be compulsory for students, at least five sentences in each language subjects.
6.     These home objective type test should  administered  by parts for each subject and at the end of the year a short objective  type test should administered from that home base test and in the subject where  reading and writing assessment is required  a subjective type  test  should be administered. The students who did not pass this test, they will attended classes in the summer vacations along their teachers. Afterward they should  be promoted to next class.
7.     For the purpose of admission in colleges or universities SAT type Test should be implemented during their last two years in higher secondary school, some colleges/ universities already require NTS Test. The score of this test could also be used for recruitment purposes.  These Tests should be based on multiple-choice type test in textbooks subjects which they are studying at this level, with additional papers to measure student’s aptitude, general, verbal and mathematical skills.




References


                                        
Burdett , N., & Everett, H. (n.d.). The impact of an examination board in Pakistan on student outcomes. Retrieved December 15, 2019, from https://www.riseprogramme.org/sites/www.riseprogramme.org/files/publications/24_Burdett_RISEconferencepaper.pdf.

Mughal, A. W. (2018). Investigating the Issue of Out of School Children in Rural Pakistan: Implications for Policymakers. Loughborough University.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2019, from http://www.pbs.gov.pk/sites/default/files/50_years_statistics/vol1/12.pdf.

Pakistan Education Statistics. (2005). Retrieved December 15, 2019, from http://www.finance.gov.pk/survey/chapters/10-edu.pdf.

Pakistan Economic Survey . (2018). Retrieved December 15, 2019, from http://www.finance.gov.pk/survey/chapters_19/10-Education.pdf.

Why High School Exit Exams Are a Waste of Time Valerie Strauss - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/04/18/why-high-school-exit-exams-are-a-waste-of-time/

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