Gilgit-Baltistan Examination Board

By Karim Muhammad Khan

Examination plays a critical role in shaping educational spectrum for students and teachers. Students’ approach to learning is determined by the way examination process is carried out and it is considered vital source of gauging students’ performance in the prescribed curriculum. Similarly, exam patterns not only affect subject matter of the taught curriculum, but also has an impact on pedagogical skills of teachers. In short, classroom teaching’s effectiveness is determined by examination processes and procedures.

However, to better gauge the reliability and validity of measuring tools, and keeping uniformity across all the affiliated schools, educationists and researchers have established standardized examination boards across the country. Board of Elementary Examination Gilgit-Baltistan (BEEGB), which announced its annual result of class 5 and 8 online on 6th February 2024, is no exception!

Like other examination boards, BEEGB has digitized its system successfully, providing a portal for students’ registration cards, examination forms, and fee challans. The board has also introduced formative assessment protocol of 30 marks. The formative assessment process rested upon the schools where subject teachers were responsible for assessing students against 10 predetermined areas under school and project domains, using specified rubrics. Prior to conducting formative assessment, schools and subject teachers of class 5 and 8 and students were oriented with the assessment rubrics and keys.

Initiation of the graded formative assessment protocol has made students and teachers vigilant, as the former way was to try to get good marks by overcoming only weak areas. The new method, however, assesses progress against the pre-determined domains continuously, while sharing feedback for further improvement. However, a number of schools confronted problems in managing formative assessment in its true spirit as orientation sessions were conducted just two months prior to the commencement of the annual exams.

This year more efforts are required to make formative assessment reliable. To this end, it is imperative to conduct reorientation sessions at the start of academic session.

Summative assessment of paper-pencil/pen tests, carrying 70 marks, were conducted with integration of fifty percent questions based on students’ learning outcomes.

Finally, assigned marks of both summative and formative got accumulated and were reflected in result intimation cards.  Moreover, certificates and gazettes can also be accessed online.

Shifting the process of examination from manual to digital at BEEGB has made it easy for students, their parents and schools to access results. The ultimate purpose of digitizing examination system and initiating formative assessment mechanism must be to raise the standard of education in government schools across GB  as it is the constitutional obligation of the state to provide free quality education to children.

However, GB Education Department doesn’t have an examination board for Secondary and Higher Secondary classes, as government schools are affiliated with the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Islamabad (FBISE).

From 2003 to 2017 government schools and colleges had been affiliated with Karakorum International University Examination Board. But with the passage of time KIU EB couldn’t maintain its standard and drawbacks such as nepotism, cronyism and rising cheating trend were frequently reported in media, due to which the then GB government decided to re-affiliate government schools and colleges with FBISE Islamabad in 2018.

Now, GB Government Education Department is planning to establish its own board of secondary education in Gilgit. State of the art infrastructure has been established with high-tech digital system in place. But, prior to that legislation needs to be initiated in GB Assembly (GBA) to grant legal cover and authenticity and ensure allocation of budget.

There is also a need for managerial level staff of the Board to visit and learn from examination boards across the country, and to get oriented with their standard operating procedures (SOPs). Finally, maintaining transparency and secrecy by following merit throughout all the processes and procedures of examination is pivotal in earning trusts of all stakeholders.

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