Recently, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) has instructed all private and public universities not to conduct their admission tests for any level of education under National Testing Service (NTS). NTS, which took birth and nourished under HEC to greater extent, once used to be its sweetheart. All academics and non-academics even conducted NTS for both inductions and admission purposes. However, HEC has now offered its cold shoulders to NTS.
Conducting a rigorous test for admissions at university level is a good practice for selecting meritorious students. A screening test has psychological effect on a pupil and the one who gets admission by passing a test would be more confident of his/her abilities than the one without any jumble.
Like any other testing services, such as ETS, NTS is not different. Yes, it could lag behind world class testing services, yet, keeping the standard for Pakistani students in mind, it is offering quality testing services. Nevertheless, if HEC dissociates NTS for admission tests, then it should come up with an alternative service. According to the announcements, HEC’s testing service is not functional yet. It would have been highly appreciated if the announcement of barring NTS was announced after successfully implementing its own testing services.
Moreover, HEC has now bound all universities to conduct admission test. On the other side, it was further added by the HEC spokesperson that universities can choose their testing bodies on their own choice as well. This has caused a lot of confusion not only for universities but also for perspective students. The dual policies should be cleared first before sharing such policies with public.
It is of utmost importance to introduce a uniform system for admissions into all universities across Pakistan. We hope that the free testing service announced by HEC will be realized soon, which will alleviate the burden on pockets of parents. However, before formation of any such policy, judicious decisions must be made to avoid any unfavorable outcome.
The writer is a PhD candidate in the field of computing. He has interest in writing on various issues including education, technology and social circles. He can be reached at “akhtar599” on twitter. Website: http://akhtarcs.weebly.com/