PESHAWAR: The credibility of private organisations, which conduct academic performance evaluation tests for the selection of candidates in public sector entities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was questioned in the provincial assembly on Friday.

Speaking on an adjournment motion adopted for a detailed discussion, the opposition members proposed the formation of the government’s testing and evaluation bodies for the selection of candidates instead of the outsourcing of testing services to private organisations.

Opposition Leader Akram Khan Durrani moved the motion in the assembly saying the Fair Testing Service (FTS) was hired to conduct tests for the recruitment of teachers in Bannu and Lakki Marwat districts.

He said the paper was leaked a day before tests.

Minister tells PA if irregularities found, Fair Testing Service will be blacklisted

Mr Durrani alleged that a huge amount was received from candidates for leaked papers and that top officials of the elementary and secondary education department were involved in that scandal.

He said the scam was highlighted by the national media but neither the government nor the department took its notice.

Elementary and secondary education minister Akbar Ayub said the matter had been held up on account of a stay order by the court.

Mr Ayub, who got the portfolio of elementary and secondary education lately, said the government would blacklist the FTS if irregularities were found in the case.

Awami National Party member Sardar Hussain Babak while supporting the mover pointed a finger at the performance and credibility of various private agencies hired for conducting tests.

He claimed that Islamabad-based agency had generated billions of rupees by conducting tests in the last four years.

Mr Babak said there was no need for hiring private organisations to conduct tests for the selection of candidates.

ANP MPA Khushdil Khan said jobless people were being robbed in the name of evaluation tests in the province.

He said a procedure and mechanism was in place for recruitment in the government sector. The lawmaker claimed that papers were being leaked before tests.

He said the holding of a test for recruitment in the assembly secretariat by a private organisation was illogical.

“The province should strengthen its own educational testing and evaluation agency instead of hiring private bodies from Punjab to conduct tests,” he said.

The adjournment motion was admitted for a detailed discussion.

During question hour, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal MPA Inayatullah Khan drew the house’s attention towards the malfunctioning of Zamung Kor, the provincial government-run orphanage in Peshawar.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had inaugurated the facility for street children in Nov 2015.

The official reply said the total capacity of Zamung Kor was 1,000 but the orphanage had admitted 303 children. It added that the names of 32 children were in admission process. The reply said a total of 87 children were reunited with families.

MPA Inayatullah questioned the performance of the facility and said it was under-utilised as the management didn’t handle it properly.

He said the facility didn’t achieve objectives and there were several issues in the board. The legislator said the country had 2.2 million street children, including 6,000 in Peshawar. The question was referred to the relevant committee.

A question related to the failure of the public and private sector organisations to comply with the directives of the provincial anti-harassment ombudsperson was also referred to the committee.

The assembly was informed that a total of 149 official and 40 semi-government bodies had set up inquiry committees in the province for disposing of complaints against harassment in offices and that notices were issued to all organisations.

The government introduced the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Vagrancy Restraint Bill, 2020, and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government Rest Houses and Tourism Properties (Development, Management and Regulation) Bill, 2020.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Administration (Public Service Delivery and Good Governance) Bill, 2020, was passed after the incorporation of an amendment proposed by ANP MPA Salahuddin.

A private member bill moved by MMA’s Munawar Khan regarding land acquisition was referred to the house’s select committee.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2020

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