Federal Board of Education to Revamp Examination System, Introduce Practical Assessments in Theoretical Papers

Islamabad: In a significant move aimed at reforming the education system, the Federal Board of Education has announced plans to incorporate practical examinations within the theoretical papers for students in Grades 9 to 12 (from SSC1 to HSSC2). This decision, reached during a meeting held on September 7, seeks to bring a more holistic approach to assessments.
The key change involves the elimination of standalone practical tests for students in these grades, with practical components now integrated into the theory papers, adopting a format similar to O Level examinations. While this represents a bold step towards curriculum enhancement, it’s worth noting that similar attempts by other educational boards in Punjab were discontinued after 2016.
Upon seeking insights from various educationists, it becomes apparent that some reservations exist regarding this new approach. Critics argue that simply merging practical components into theory papers may not fully address the underlying issues. Currently, practicals carry a weight of 20 marks for each subject over two years, resulting in a one-year test score of 10. To truly enhance students’ academic prowess, it is suggested that the Board of Education should consider increasing the total marks allocated to practical assessments. This adjustment would encourage teachers and schools to place more emphasis on practical learning and application.
Furthermore, the concern remains that by incorporating practical papers into the theory exams, there might be a minimal effort to genuinely engage with practical subjects. This approach could exacerbate the perception that while numerous students achieve perfect scores of 1100 out of 1100, the country is still not producing a sufficient number of scientists and innovators. Therefore, this transformative step by the Federal Board of Education reflects a commitment to evolving the education landscape, but it is essential that the implementation addresses these valid concerns and promotes holistic learning and critical thinking among students.

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