Modernising the ETEA setup

The 29th meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) for the Education Testing and Evaluation Agency (ETEA) was instructive in many ways. Held on August 21, in the Chief Minister’s House, the meeting was attended (among others) by the provincial Minister for Revenue Taimur Saleem Jhagra, the Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on information and higher education, Kamran Bangash, the executive director of ETEA, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Peshawar and the concerned administrative secretaries of the KP government.

With Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair, the meeting had a review of the last board meeting. The board gave approval to the new SOPs for the examinations to be held under the auspices of the ETEA. Approval was also given to the ETEA service rules 2021 and ETEA financial rules 2021. The CM emphasised the need to restructure ETEA and increase its efficiency by bringing it on a par with the international standards. The meeting was told that in order to ensure added transparency, the government was introducing the computer-based testing system.

Under this system, the candidates would solve the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) on laptop computers. The computers would display the exam result then and there. The candidates would discard the decades-old system of using a ball pen and a sheet of plain paper. The CM said that for the new system, the ETEA would need a modern digital laboratory. He directed the concerned officials to prepare the feasibility report of such a laboratory.

This was not said in the meeting, but some privately managed colleges have been using such a facility for the last many years. The Institute of Management Sciences (IMS), located at the confluence of Phase Four and Phase Five in Hayatabad and the one in Phase Seven are just two examples. Moreover, the City University also has fully computerised systems.