The Grade 9 results in Punjab seem to be ‘alarmingly’ good this year. However, a deep insight is required to understand the meaning behind these marks. Technically, marks obtained in these examinations are considered to be a numeric representation of the achievement of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) provided by the National Curriculum of Pakistan. But, many researchers agree upon the point that our question papers do not have the ability to judge the curriculum SLOs. The question papers in our exams are neither valid nor reliable. Consequently, many substandard notes for exam preparation are sold in the market, promising to earn the learner high marks if they are memorised properly. 

A simple formula has been deduced to attain success in these examinations. Simply obtain the examinations held in the last five years of your attempt, rote learn their answers, take a test session at an academy and ace your exam. Using these techniques, candidates who possess lesser capability can succeed while those who are truly intelligent may lag behind. 

I request the education authorities to look into the issue and take any corrective measures they can to improve the prevailing state of affairs. The question papers of board examinations must be in line with the curriculum SLOs. 

MUHAMMAD SAQIB ZAFAR,  

Islamabad, August 22.