ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Federal Education and the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) have decided to discontinue the centralised examination system for grade five in Islamabad-based schools.

The FDE used to conduct centralised examinations of grades five and eight every year, and students of private schools were also allowed to appear in these examinations. The directorate had a complete directorate, but this year, the results were compiled by a private firm hired for teacher training.

On Monday, it was decided that from now on, the centralised exam for fifth grade would not be held to reduce the workload of students.

“After careful consideration, it has been decided to discontinue the centralised examination system for grade 5 in the FDE schools. This move aims to alleviate exam stress and anxiety, as well as eliminate unwarranted comparison and competition among peers. By removing this pressure, we can create space for children to focus on developing other essential life skills and engaging in sports activities,” read a statement issued here on Monday.

It added that while centralised exams will no longer be conducted, summative internal diagnostic assessments will continue to ensure teachers’ accountability.

“We believe that learning extends far beyond the stress of exams and that the early years of schooling should be joyful and enriching,” the statement said.

It added that to further enhance students’ experiences, “We [the Education Ministry and FDE] will introduce a range of co-curricular activities and non-assessed initiatives, providing children with opportunities for holistic development and exploration beyond traditional academic measures.”

The FDE also used to offer scholarships to around 150 students annually, and students were given a nominal annual scholarship. As per an FDE official, the exam for eighth grade will continue to be held as per routine.

Meanwhile, the ministry of education also notified the time-scale promotion of 529 FDE teachers who run schools and colleges. The meeting of the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) was held in January, but notification was issued on Monday. The teaching community appreciated Secretary Education for getting notification of their promotions.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2024

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