LAHORE - The Punjab government has decided to accept offer by Cambridge International Examination System to acquire mass examinations marking technology. The Cambridge University will impart specific training to the local examiners through “Online Marking Project” which would help minimize errors of judgment by examiners at a massive scale.

The decision was made by the Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan in a meeting with the Chief Executive Cambridge International Examinations Michael O’Sullivan. Country Director Cambridge University in Pakistan Uzma Yousuf Zaka, Director Examinations Services in Pakistan Murray Keeler and Director British Council Punjab Richard Weyers, Members of Punjab Assembly Tahia Noon and Dr Ayesha Ghaus, Additional Secretary Higher Education Department Punjab Shahid Zaman and Chairman Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education Lahore Ch Nasrullah Virk were also present in the meeting.

The Provincial Education Minister apprised the visiting British Educationists about key initiatives taken by the Punjab government to reform the education system under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif which include enrolment of 3.6 million kids from the age of 4 to 9 in the public and private sector schools of the province, construction of additional class rooms in the public sector schools and induction of 72 thousand educators during the last year. He informed the British delegates that the Punjab government will recruit another 30 thousand educators in the month of February next year.

Chief Executive Cambridge International Examinations Michael O’Sullivan discussed possible areas of cooperation and appreciated the steps taken by the Punjab government to link the promotion of public sector schools teachers with their key performance indicators. However, Michael opined that the examinations paper checking at a massive level was a an uphill task to accomplish. He offered that Cambridge International Examinations was ready to provide technical assistance in training the local examiners through online marking project which would not only help minimize errors of judgment due to unnecessary workload in a haste and the chances of marking an artificial script will also be made impossible through online marking.

                  Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan replied in affirmative and informed the members of delegation that Punjab was the first province to establish a curriculum development authority which has transformed the syllabi in accordance with the latest needs of our nation. The review of twenty seven text books by Punjab Curriculum Authority was near completion. The Minister disclosed that the Punjab government has decided to adopt Urdu as medium of instruction from class one to class three at primary level so that the retention rate could be maintained and so the kids would learn more clear concepts about all topics although the subject of English will be thoroughly taught from very beginning to the kids of class one to three as a compulsory subject. Later, the medium of instructions will become English from 4th class to all levels of higher education because of the global importance of English language in learning of modern knowledge at advanced stages, the Minister concluded.