Islamabad - National Testing Service (NTS) is playing a vital role in uplifting of higher education in Pakistan through testing and assessment. This was claimed by Dr Sherzada Khan, chief operating officer (COO) NTS, in a meeting with media persons here yesterday. He further elaborated that more than Rs 150 million scholarships will be disbursed in the upcoming year among the needy students of various universities/HEI. Initiatives have already been taken for the improvement of higher education in Balochistan through Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences (IUCPSS) and support of government of Balochistan, and 30 TOEFL ITP tests certification will be offered to the outgoing graduates (students) of two higher education colleges of the province.

The TOEFL ITP test measures and evaluates students’ English language skills with unparalleled flexibility, convenience and reliability. A student studying in 13th and 14th standard of public sector college/HEI is eligible for TOEFL ITP. He also informed that a faculty development programme of 30 teachers of Balochistan public sector universities has already been conducted successfully in Islamabad in cooperation with Faculty Development Academy (FDA) of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Islamabad.

Responding a question he further clarified that NTS worked as a project of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology till March 2013. In April 2013 the company was registered with SECP as a non-profit organisation and Rs 598 million as net worth was transferred to the company from the project and revenue of Rs 191 million was earned against test services. In 2014, out of the total surplus of worth Rs 272 million, an amount of Rs 136 million was reserved for NTS Need-Based Scholarship Programme.

An amount of Rs 48 million was disbursed among the 334 needy students of various Universities during the period 2014-15 including full tuition fee and Rs 5,000 stipend per month. He further appraised that necessary steps are being taken to make the company more efficient and progressing to fulfil the requirement of SECP.