The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) has finally succeeded in winning the authority for conducting eighth class scholarship examinations, which otherwise are conducted by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE).
According to sources, the FBISE would issue a notification to federal government schools on Monday in which it would inform about its authority to conduct eighth class scholarship examinations and their schedule.
It is for the first time that the FBISE would be conducting eight class scholarship examinations, as previously the FDE was the sole authority to conduct examinations for both class fifth and class eighth. The reason behind change in examination-taking authority is the announcement made by Federal Minister for Education Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali Khan last year in which he said that the FBISE would conduct scholarship examinations for class eighth.
A notification in this regard was issued by the Federal Ministry of Education on December 22, 2010, in which it was stated: “The examination of class eighth for scholarships only shall henceforth be conducted by the FBISE.”
According to sources, the authority for conducting examinations for class eighth has remained a big issue as both FBISE and FDE were trying hard to convince the Ministry of Education to give this authority to them.
According to well-placed sources in the FBISE, it is actually the responsibility of FBISE to conduct examinations for class eighth for transparency and better evaluation. “The FDE is responsible only for imparting quality education and not assessing the quality of education being imparted under its control. It is not fair that the FDE itself conducts examinations and prepares results,” they said.
Sources clarified that the FDE would continue to play the role of centralised examination-taking institution that is responsible for conducting examinations for class eighth and class fifth. “The FBISE would play the role of external agency that would conduct scholarship examinations for class eighth just to have a better evaluation of the education imparted by federal government schools,” he said.
According to information, there are usually around 1,500 students that take scholarship examinations, whereas more than 20,000 students appear in normal examinations. It is also pertinent to mention that scholarship examinations are only taken in four subjects — General Science, Mathematics, English and Urdu.
On the other hand, the officials of FDE believe that according to the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Act 1975 (as passed by parliament) FBISE could not conduct examinations for class eighth. “According to the act, the FBISE could only hold examination for class IX and class X besides class XI and class XII. For any changes in the act, they must go to the parliament for amendments,” he said.
FBISE Chairperson Dr. Shaheen Khan confirmed news regarding the commencement of examinations under the FBISE and said that the notification in this regard would be issued on Monday. “We have made all necessary arrangements and scholarship examinations for class eighth would start in the third week of April,” she added.