PESHAWAR - Though the newly introduced system of National Testing Service (NTS) has been widely appreciated by students, certain elements which are against merit policy, making propaganda against this transparent system of appointment.

The National Testing Service (NTS) is an organisation in Pakistan that conducts academic performance evaluation tests. It is similar to the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the United States. Earlier, the NTS offers two main types of tests, the National Admission Test (NAT) and the Graduate Assessment Test (GAT).

The NAT is aimed at students seeking admission to colleges and universities. GAT is aimed at graduates seeking admission to postgraduate education. Now the NTS exams are also used to determine qualifications of students seeking government jobs.

The NTS is a member of the International Association for Educational Assessment, USA (IAEA). It was recognised by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) and was developed to ensure quality educational standards in the country to provide a national scale for comparative grading.

The first step for establishing NTS system was taken by former governor Punjab Khalid Maqbool who made it compulsory in 2007 with regards to admission to universities and later set aside by the government unless the laws regarding university admission were amended.

Though in first step it was criticised by certain people and termed it expensive for the students but when the former governor sort suggestions and inputs from educationists, the system was found transparent as compared to departmental tests, as government departments were not fully equipped to conduct transparent tests and declare results within due course of time.

Talking to The Nation, one of the student Inam Khattak who is frequently applying for NTS tests told that making such institution working in transparent manner was the voice of poor people as in most cases of departmental tests the appointments were made on political basis while the test results and merit lists have been placed in cold storage.

He said that in this system of evaluation test no one can violate their rights as the question papers of each students was different from another students while results are being declared within one week of short time.

Arshad Saeed who was topper of the Law Department, Peshawar University, also expressed his satisfaction over the transparent conduction of these tests. He said that neither government departments nor public service commission was able to conduct these tests with such organised manner. He said that he on several occasion secured position in various tests but he was not timely informed by the public services commission regarding merit lists and interview.

He informed that several poor students were inducted in government departments in the last one-year through this transparent system of test.

Mohammad Akhtar, student of M.S Finance in Agriculture University, said that NTS is a better standard to judge the ability and qualification of students. He said that students could afford it by applying one time to multi-disciplines in government departments and universities.

He maintained that now they are satisfied with the appointment procedure through NTS system as every student can judge his ability in very short time and no one can blame the NTS institution for making any mistake. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Department has also decided to appoint constables through NTS system. 

The Nation has reliable learnt that certain people who have strong references in government departments are against conducting of these tests through NTS as their children and blue eyed people were unable to pass the NTS test as it judges a student in multiple disciplines.

The students have appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take further steps for strengthening this institution, as it is the only hope for poor and deserving students.