PESHAWAR: The National Education Council, an association of private schools, has rejected the provincial government’s decision to do away with board examination for ninth grade and resume the composite secondary school certificate (matriculation) examination in the next academic session.

NEC chairman Nazar Hussain told reporters here on Monday that all members of the council and provincial action council had objected to the government’s notification for the start of composite SSC exam from 2020.

He said both school owners and students didn’t accept the government’s unilateral decision made at a time when the academic session was in progress, periodical tests had begun, and a sizeableportion of textbooks had been taught in schools.

Mr Hussain said quitting the global semester system would turn out to be the biggest mistake of the government.

He said the abolition of ninthgrade’s board examination and introduction of board assessment exam for eighth grade was illegal.

The NEC chairman said under the board calendar’s rules, the boards for secondary education couldn’t be allowed to conduct examinations below grades of ninth and 10th and above the intermediate classes.

He said the board calendar showed that Chapter-IV’s clause No I necessitated the education boards to conduct separate exams for ninthand 10thgrades and therefore, the holding of composite examination went against the rules.

Mr Hussain said the government should do away with the old system to discourage cheating and unfair means in exams and bring revolutionary changes through implementation of its manifesto to restore confidence of students and to ensure transparency.

He said the composite examination system would ‘disrupt the mind’ of students, an act tantamount to punishing them.

The NEC chairman also complained that the composite exam system had a negative bearing on the ‘educational ability’ of students.

He said the composite examination system would increase the exam failure rates and thus, increasing suicide incidence among students and that that system shouldn’t be introduced.

Mr Hussain said the seminary students would quit studies after the introduction of composite examination system.

He asked the government not to do away with board examination for ninth grade.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2019