Is schools' results a flawed benchmark?

Results a flawed benchmark of schools performance
Lahore, Feb 23: Educational institutions are generally rated by the standard of teaching faculty, facilities and peaceful academic atmosphere, nevertheless the importance of exam results are certainly an important benchmark.

It is unfortunate that most of private as well as public sector schools and colleges employ various kinds of tactics to "produce" better results. One such "method" is registering minimum number of students as regular candidates for board's examinations. A large number of educational institutions especially schools are indulging in this practice to show good results.

Most of the educational institutions despite having a large number of students enrolled prefer to send regular admissions of a limited number of students who are likely to perform well in exams. While others who are supposed to perform poorly in exam, are told to get themselves registered as private candidates so that their performance might not affect the overall results of a particular school.

It is important to mention here that every year a number of cases are reported in which students express their anger against the administration of their respective institute for not sending their admission as regular candidates.

Academic circles believe this growing trend as a "deceitful" behaviour on part of educational institutions saying disowning students just before the annual exams by the educational institution is certainly unjustified.

They argue that on one hand schools especially those working in private sector charge heavy monthly fees from students but at the time of admission for exams only selected students are registered as regular candidates.

"This is something which the government will be monitoring this year", said Raja Muhammad Anwar, the chairman of Chief Minister's Taskforce on Elementary Education. He said it was certainly a negative practice adopted by majority of schools that students who had been regularly paying fees were denied admission to appear as regular candidates in exams.

"If such students are supposed to perform poorly in the exams then who is responsible," he questioned He said the government would be assessing results of schools by comparing these with overall enrolment of a particular school before exams.

The Home Economics Society of the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) organised an event "Activity Show" at varsity campus on Saturday. More than 10 stalls featuring jewellery, garments, shoes, interior, gift items and food items were set up. As many as three stalls were set up by the university students where items prepared by students were on display.

Besides faculty members and administrative staff a large number of students attended the event and appreciated the work done by students.

The prize distribution ceremony of 130th Annual Athletics Championship of the Punjab University Law College was held last week in which Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran distributed prizes among position holders and other distinguished players.

Speaking at the ceremony, the VC said that one should learn from player's sportsman spirit and discipline to have a successful life. He said that sports play an important role in one's life to get a progressive mind and healthy body.

PEC new exam system needs revamping
Attock: Many loopholes and anomalies were observed during the primary and middle standard examinations held under the control of PEC (Punjab Examination Commission).

The PEC has been spending millions of rupees on this centralised examination system under which question papers and answer sheets are provided to the students across the Punjab of the same standard.

Although the centralised system of examination has been started to improve the standard of education yet having loopholes and needs a lot of improvement. This has been learnt through reliable sources that the answer sheets provided to the students for primary and middle examinations having no serial numbers. There have been reports that such kind of answer sheets could easily be replaced during marking of papers or during the examination.

Sources revealed that at many examination and marking centers, such anomalies took place where the students having approach to the teachers managed to replace their answer sheets. This has also been reported in most of the cases the answer sheets were not signed by the superintendent concerned and to cover this violation at many marking centres the superintendents are busy in signing the answer sheets.

Contrary to the rules the objective papers were attempted by the students using lead pencils. This has also been reported that the examiners had not taken the examination in letter and spirit. Most of the teachers said that it was a futile exercise. Another thing which needs attention of the authorities is that teachers deputed as examiners at different centres were from nearby schools thus having no affective control during the examination.

Reportedly, at one centre in tehsil Jand duplicate objective paper answer sheets were produced from a student taking examination but no action was taken against the staff, which is a question mark. Some of the teachers are of the view if no student would be failed then spending millions of rupees by PEC is just drainage of exchequer.

A senior teacher said if PEC wanted to hold fair and transparent examinations then examiners and superintendents must be deputed from other tehsils. A science teacher said that holding of primary and middle examination in this month is hampering the studies of the students of other classes especially of 9th and 10th as most of the teachers have been deputed on examination duty to conduct examinations and for marking the papers.

UK Varsity, UVAS to venture in leather sector
Lahore: The University of Northampton, UK, and the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) on Saturday agreed to work to launch joint ventures with focus on leather sector of Pakistan.

According to a press statement, a three-member delegation from the University of Northampton, led by Director of International Office Ms Delia Heneghan, comprising senior lecturer Paul Evans and Country Director JE Austin and Associates Inc Dr Warren Weinsten held a meeting with UVAS Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz and senior faculty members.

They discussed the areas of collaborations and agreed to look for possibilities of launching joint ventures with the UVAS and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in leather and dairy sectors.

The British delegation head said that University of Northampton was interested in developing collaborations/partnerships with Pakistani universities and working with leather technologists, veterinary scientists, agriculture experts and business and marketing executives in the country with focus on leather and dairy industries. She said that the University of Northampton would help the UVAS in imparting leather technology education and training and workforce development to Pakistan's leather sector.

Dr Warren Weinsten said Pakistan was rich in raw material and what it lacked was the value addition and trained manpower. He said the country could earn hefty foreign exchange in exporting leather and for the purpose it had to develop its leather sector.

The UVAD vice-chancellor told the British delegation that the university was already running a research project on economic losses due to the damages to animal skin after slaughtering.

Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, who is principal investigator of the research project, briefed the guests about the details of the project and said that the UVAS, in collaboration with the HEC and the Tanners Association of Pakistan, had completed the field work on the damages to animal skin and was now compiling its research report.

The vice-chancellor constituted a three-member committee, comprising Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, Prof Dr Muhammad Abdullah and Dr Naveed Akhtar, to develop a framework for joint ventures with the University of Northampton. The British delegation will again visit the UVAS next week, hold a meeting with the three-member committee of the UVAS and further discuss the modalities of collaboration and partnership between the two universities.

KEMU course
Lahore:: The King Edward Medical University (KEMU), Lahore, will hold the 18th annual four-day course at KEMU auditorium from February 23.

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Punjab University announced various exams results
Lahore: The Punjab University Examination Department on Saturday declared the results of various examinations. According to a press statement, the exams include MSc Chemical Engineering session 2005-2006, MFA Book Illustration and Painting, session 2007-2008, MFA Graphic Arts, session 2006-2007, MSc (Hons) Biotechnology, session 2005-2007, BSc (Hons) Mathematics, session 2004-2007, MSc Economics (Replica), session 2005-2007, MSc (Hons) Mathematics, session 2004-2006 and MSc Botany, Part II of Annual Examination 2008. Detailed results are available at PU website

Three PhDs awarded
Lahore: The Punjab University has awarded PhD degrees to three students. According to a press statement, Khalida Tasneem, daughter of Ch Khushi Muhammad, was awarded a PhD degree in Punjabi. Her thesis was 'The status of women in Punjabi Dastan.' She is serving as an assistant professor of Punjabi at the Government APWA College for Women. Muhammad Muzaffar, son of Muhammad Akram, was awarded a PhD in Arabic after completion of his thesis 'Critical study and edition of manuscript Sharh-ul-Hussami.' Ahmed Mian Khan, son of Mian Khan Sherani, was awarded a PhD in Islamic Studies. His thesis was 'Manhaj Tafsir Al-Maraghi Wa Tafarudatuh Derasatun Muqaranatun.'

University of Peshawar announced LLB results
Peshawar: The University of Peshawar has declared results for Bachelor of Law (LLB) part-II supplementary examination held in 2007 here Saturday. A press release issued here said that 191 candidates appeared in the examination, 122 students passed while 9 candidates remained absent. Result percentage was 64. Similarly, in LLB (part final) 294 candidates appeared, 161 passed and 46 remained absent. The result percentage was 55. The News

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