The National Testing Service (NTS) debacle continues to wear out intermediate certificate holders by retaining a majority of ‘A’ Level students, and in rare cases, meritorious students of government colleges. NTS has openly stated that they take tests according to international criterion, and they have an objective to conduct efficient, transparent and international standard tests to assess the competency of candidates for admission, scholarship and recruitment purposes. As authorities are well aware of the circumstances in which our education system is surviving, it is not surprising that all leading institutions are conducting tests through NTS . They have abandoned tests by their own institutions. Now it has been observed that a good number of students, who clear their examination from the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK), cannot sustain the pressure of international standard tests.
Students from Karachi suffer due to different systems of education, including: ‘A’ Level and BIEK. Those who are financially sound continue their studies in ‘A’ Level system while others get admissions in BIEK system of education and work hard to clear their intermediate examinations. A comparison of both the educational systems makes this fact clear that all ‘A’ Levellers are trained to clear international standard test of NTS , thus a biased-situation has developed against BIEK students. An NTS entrance test dilutes their 80 to 85 percent ranking to 60 percent and it deprives them of their right to qualify for eligibility criterion of leading universities of Karachi.
Though NTS retained 190 students from almost 1,600 students who cleared the NTS test, sadly a majority of those offered seats by making the NTS test criteria , did not meet the merit criteria of the BIEK. Thus afterwards, the University of Karachi dropped this eligibility criterion to 55 or 50 percent for selection of candidates. It is the responsibility of BIEK Chairman and the Governor who is also the Chancellor of universities as well as human rights activists to take immediate action into the open attack on the merit at the hands of NTS because this anti-BIEK student selection criterion is putting doubts on the performance of BIEK. If it is not done, BIEK would have to accept its defeat, and make policies so that the board based education system can also flourish with the ‘A’ Levels system of education.
RUBY ZAHEER,
Karachi, December 17.