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Only women to teach at primary level, says Qazi

ISLAMABAD: The government is devising a policy under which only female teachers will teach at primary level as they have proved to be the best at this level, said Federal Education Minister Javed Ashraf Qazi here on Saturday. He was speaking at a function, organised by the National Education Assessment System (NEAS) of the Ministry of Education to share its nationwide findings and assessment about students, teachers, schools and parents. Qazi said that the government also wanted to include the subject of Urdu as a language and not the medium of instruction in coming years. The science curriculum will be improved and upgraded to bring it at par with international standards, he said, adding that the history curriculum would be made realistic and objective.

The NEAS was established with the financial assistance of the World Bank and DFID under the Education Ministry’s education sector reform action plan. A specific priority within the overall plan is to build assessment capacity at the school, provincial and federal levels to better measure the learning outcomes and improve the quality and effectiveness of programme interventions. Central to the project is the development of institutional capacity of the ministry at the federal level and the departments of education at the provincial and area levels to monitor standards of education nationally.

The minister called upon the federal, provincial and areas’ implementing agencies to use NEAS findings for preparation of a plan of action to improve the curriculum content, delivery, teacher training and development of learning materials, including textbooks.
The NEAS conducted sample-based national assessments for grade 4 and grade 8 levels in areas of language, mathematics, science and social studies. In order to ascertain valid information on students learning across the nation, the NEAS selected a representative sample of the nation while using the list of government schools in the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS). The data also analysed different educational systems such as mosque, primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary. Based on this sampling design an assessment was carried out on a national sample of 11,954 students from 127 districts of the country.

According to the findings of the assessment, girls performed better than boys on language and science tests. Mathematics and social studies scores did not differ significantly by gender or location. The results showed that urban students performed significantly better on language and social studies tests, but the maths and science scores did not differ significantly across rural and urban areas. In the language tests less than 10 percent of students passed three-fourth items on conceptual understanding and interpretation. In informative writing less than 20 percent of students got a maximum score on this competency. In mathematics less than two percent of students were able to reason in settings involving application of concept definition and less than one percent were able to demonstrate the selection and application of mathematics processes in different situations correctly.

Source: Daily Times

Date:1/14/2007

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