PESHAWAR: The boards of intermediate and secondary education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have failed to implement the decision of the elementary and secondary education department to assess the learning of fifth graders enrolled in private schools.
Officials in the boards claimed that the Private Schools Regulatory Authority was blameworthy as it didn’t produce the relevant data.
The education department had decided in Feb that the education boards would conduct the assessment of the grade V students of the 10 per cent government and private schools for quality assurance.
The decision was communicated to all concerned through the Feb 18 notification, which declared that the student assessment would be carried out from April 2 to 9.
Officials blame regulator saying relevant data was not produced
The education boards conducted the assessment of the students of government schools but failed to do the same for those enrolled in private schools, the chairman of an education boards told Dawn.
“All students will be assessed through standardised question papers to be prepared by the Peshawar BISE,” the notification read adding that the ‘item bank’ for the exercise will be developed by the Directorate of Curricula and Teacher Education.
The board chairman said the directorate was bound to provide data of 10 per cent selected from among government schools and the same number of private schools selected by PSRA to the relevant boards for student assessment.
He said all education boards conducted the assessment of the government schools’ students after being provided with the relevant records by the education directorate but couldn’t conducted that of private schools due to the PSRA’s failure to produce the required data.
“We don’t have any data of private schools as private schools are registered with the PSRA,” he said. The chairman said he repeatedly asked the PSRA to produce the data of private schools, but to no avail.
Officials in the PSRA told Dawn that there were several issues in the assessment of the students of private schools and provision of their data to education boards.
They said there was no clarity about which department would bear the expenses of the private schools’ students as the cost of the assessment was estimated to be Rs550 per student.
The officials also said the PSRA had not completed the registration of all private schools in the province. They said around 10,000 private schools had been registered with the PSRA, while the registration of 5,000-6,000 more was expected.
Sources said since finances were involved in the student assessment, the PSRA high-ups decided that the board of the authority should decide about who to bear the expenses.
They added that a meeting of the board was convened for the purpose but it was postponed later due to the engagements of board members leading to the expiry of the deadline for the exercise.
When contacted, PSRA managing director Sardar Asad Haroon said the authority wasn’t to blame for the issue as it had provided the available data to the education boards before the expiry of the deadline.
Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2019