To test, or not to test — that is the question
By Khalid Khattak
THE Punjab government’s decision to disallow making it mandatory to sit for the National Testing Service (NTS) admission test to get into public and autonomous universities in the province has sparked a debate among various stakeholders.
The government had said universities should first modify their laws regarding admissions before making the NTS test compulsory for admission. It had warned that making the NTS test mandatory without modifying laws would be ‘unlawful’. The government said there was no record that any public sector university had modified its admission laws.
Authorities, who had submitted a summary to the Law Department to make the NTS test mandatory, had said, “The objective of the test is to establish a credible, technically appropriate and accurate system to evaluate students at various levels.”
Governor Khalid Maqbool has called a meeting of vice chancellors to discuss the issue on June 4.
Controversy over the NTS admission test to universities had erupted last year when the Punjab University enlisted the NTS to hold holding its entry test for undergraduate and postgraduate classes. Faculty and students opposed the move, saying the university had a reliable testing system and that the NTS had only one office in the city. They had said this was causing a lot of problems.
The PU then stopped NTS to conduct the entrance exam for the postgraduate classes, but let it conduct the admission test to the undergraduate classes.
Several students of the Government College University (GCU), Kinnaird College (KC) for Women and other colleges opposed the NTS admission test. They said that after passing various examinations there was no need of an admission test to enter universities; rather merit should be followed.
They said admission tests were an extra financial burden, as many students would need tuitions before sitting for the test.
Referring to last year’s NTS tests at PU, academics believe that conducting admission tests for all public sector universities this year would be a great challenge for NTS.
They said the June 4 meeting regarding the NTS admission tests would undoubtedly be of utmost importance, as it would decide the fate of stakeholders. They said that before taking any decision in this regard there was a need to seek the input of students over the issue, as they were the main stakeholders.
Steps School, Shadbagh, organised a mother’s training workshop on Saturday where various methods of teaching and helping children in their education through modern techniques were taught.
The programme was held on campus where the mothers of students participated. The main speakers at the workshop included principal Syed Farhan and other faculty members including Nadeem Qureshi and Prof Tahir Yaqoob.
The speakers stressed the need for creating a favourable atmosphere of education at home and urged mothers to pay proper attention to their children.
Speaking on the occasion Syed Farhan said all modern techniques and mediums such as TV and computers should be used to train children and that by using these techniques parents, especially mothers, could teach a lot to their children at home.
He said mothers should realise their role in the training of a child and that there must be better coordination between the parents and schoolteachers so that children were not neglected.