PESHAWAR: Owners and teachers of private schools along with parents on Friday demonstrated against the decision of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar to hold fifth and eighth grade assessments and demanded its immediate withdrawal.

The demonstration was staged outside the Peshawar Press Club on the call of the Private Schools Association, Peshawar chapter.

PSA president Dr Zakir Shah opposed the fifth and eighth grade assessments and said other provinces had already rejected the holding of fifth grade examinations by their respective education boards.

He warned the people would hold protests outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly building if their demands were not accepted.

Dr Zakir said parents, teachers and private schools associations were stakeholders when it came to things educational but the government didn’t bother to engage them on the issue.

He said owners of private schools didn’t favour a bill on the establishment of a regulatory body for themselves as they feared the proposed law would badly affect their affairs.

Private schools threaten more protests against new exam system

The PSA president said the government didn’t take stakeholders into confidence while drafting the bill and that owners of private schools and parents should be consulted on it.

“We are against corrupt practices usually observed in board examinations, mainly in those held for ninth and 10th grades. The fifth and eighth grade assessments will lead to further malpractices in education system,” he said.

Dr Zakir said the children in KP were denied their basic right of access to education under a conspiracy.

He said he feared if fifth and eighth grade examinations were held by the BISEP, hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren would drop out due to inability to compete in the ‘faulty system’.

The PSA president warned private school owners and teachers along with schoolchildren and their parents would come onto the streets if the decision on fifth and eighth grade assessments wasn’t withdrawn.

Owner of a private school Memoona Mussarat said the courses of private schools were considerably different from the government educational institutions’.

She also said most private schools imparted education in English and their government counterparts in Urdu, so students would face difficulties after the introduction of assessments.

Ms Mussarat said private educational institutions used books of different publishers and therefore, the new examination system would adversely affect them all totaling more than 10,000.

“We cannot cover the courses of government schools in this short time of period. The BISEP is going to hold fifth grade examinations in next November,” said Naila, a private school’s teacher.

PSA leaders Nazar Hussain, Shahid Wali Khattak, Rabnawaz Khan and Iftikhar Hussain also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn October 22nd, 2016