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MINUTES OF THE 9TH INTER-PROVINCIAL EDUCATION MINISTERS MEETING

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					MINUTES OF THE 9TH INTER-PROVINCIAL EDUCATION
MINISTERS’ MEETING HELD AT KARACHI ON 6TH DEC. 2005.
        The 9th Meeting of Inter-Provincial Education Ministers was held under the
chairmanship of Federal Education Minister in the Cabinet Committee Room, Sindh
Secretariat Building No1, Karachi on 6th December, 2005. The meeting started with the
recitation from the Holy Quran by Maulana Fazal-I-Ali, Education Minister NWFP. List
of participants is enclosed.

Item No.1:    Confirmation of minutes of the 8th meeting:

              Minutes of the last meeting were confirmed.

Item No.2:    Uniform Academic Session:
        Academic session varies from province to province. Students and parents face
difficulties due to this variation in academic session. The Provincial Education Ministers
discussed this issue and agreed that uniformity in academic session in schools and
colleges is required for providing a continuous study period and healthy environment for
teaching learning process.

Decisions:
       i)     Examinations will be held in April & May, papers will be marked in June
              & July and results will be announced in first half of August.

       ii)    New session will start after middle August or early September.

       iii)   In case of AJK, NWFP and Baluchistan, flexibility will remain with the
              education ministers of the Provinces for fixing the session time in areas
              where winter is harsh.

Item No.3:    Composite Examination System at Higher Secondary Classes.

        The merits and demerits of the part-wise and composite examinations for HSSC
were discussed in detail and it was agreed in principle to have a composite examination
for HSSC as well. However, Education Department, Government of Punjab will prepare
a working paper on the composite examination of HSSC and it will be circulated to the
provinces for soliciting their views. This paper will be discussed in the next meeting of
Inter-Provincial Education Ministers. The provincial Education Ministers desired that
before decision on composite examination at HSSC level is implemented, we should see
successful enforcement of decision to take composite examination at SSC level in 2007.
It was decided to fix 2009 as provisional start year for composite HSSC exam if next
Education Ministers’ Conference approves the working paper by Punjab.

Decisions:
       i)     Punjab will present a detailed paper on the subject in the next meeting.
       ii)    The composite examination will be introduced in 2009 for HSSC if
              working paper is approved.
Item No.4:    Reallocation of theory and practical marks for science and social
              science subject at SSC and HSSC levels.

       A detailed discussion on allocation of theory and practical marks for science
subjects at SSC and HSSC levels took place in the meeting. After discussing the
demerits of practical marks in science and social subjects, it was felt that the marks
should be suitably adjusted.

Decision:     It was decided that marks allocated for practical examinations be reduced
              from 25% to 15% due to inadequate lab facilities available in the country.
              It will be applicable for examinations to be conducted in the year 2007. It
              may be revised once all schools have adequate lab facilities. For
              Computer Science these will continue to be 25%.

Item No. 5:   Missing facilities – identification.

        Minister for Education briefed the provincial education ministers that Education
Sector Reforms have to be implemented in right earnest with suitable funding of Rs.100
billion in five years time. Minister also informed that the schools are in very bad shape
and they have to be rehabilitated with the following facilities:

       i)     Boundary wall
       ii)    Electricity
       iii)   Manual / Electric water pump
       iv)    Toilet facilities
       v)     Required classrooms.

He also informed the participants that work on missing facilities shall be undertaken by
the Army, or if the provinces have their own modes-operandi, they have to identify. The
funds for missing facilities will be over and above the provisions made in the provincial
budget.

Decision:     Provision of lab facilities will be added to the list of missing facilities to
              be provided in the schools with the help of the Army. Provinces will start
              preparing lists of schools in which they would like the Army to work and
              provide missing facilities. Lists must be supplied by 31st December, 2005
              to the Ministry of Education for preparing the PC-1.

Item No.6:    Education Sector Reforms (ESR).

       Minister for Education expressed the concern about the low utilization of ESR
funds by the provinces and also pointed out that in some of the provinces the funds are
being held up by the Finance Department(s). This practice needs to be streamlined so
that funds given to the provinces are immediately transferred to the Education
Departments and subsequently to the district governments.

Decisions:

       i)     Provincial governments will direct EDOs to furnish reports in time about
              utilization of funds. Director M&E Ministry of Education will prepare
              and submit a report to the Minister for Education on this issue giving all
              the details for raising the matter at the appropriate forum.

       ii)    Provinces will submit utilization reports of ESR Funds on time to the
              Federal Ministry of Education for submission to the Planning
              Commission.

       iii)   The provinces are also required to expedite utilization of funds already
              available with them.

Item No.7:    National textbook policy.

        A strategy for National Textbook Policy was discussed in the meeting. The basic
objective of this item was to implement the policy pertaining to de-regularization of
publishing textbooks and promotion of national textbooks and learning material
publishing sector.

Decisions:

       i)     A Committee under Chairmanship of Chairman National Book Foundation
              will be constituted to ensure interaction with Provincial Text Board and
              publishes / other stakeholders for implementation of a national Textbook
              Policy.
       ii)    Competent persons with proven record of high achievements and
              competence will be requested to write books.
       iii)   Committee under the Chairmanship of National Book foundation and
              consisting of representatives from the provinces would decide about
              participation in various book fairs. The Committee will also ensure
              participation and setting up Pakistan Stall in worthwhile fairs.
       iv)    No story or a poem written by an anonymous person will be included in
              any book.
       v)     Controversial materials pertaining to cultural, religious and ethnic
              practices should not be included in textbooks.
       vi)    Any publisher responsible for publishing objectionable materials should
              be banned.
       vii)   Instructions issued by the Curriculum Wing have to be followed strictly by
              the Textbook Boards and the Curriculum Wing is also required to monitor
              the books being taught in the classrooms very diligently.
Item No.8:     Revision of pattern of question papers.

        The question papers administered by different Boards comprise 20% objective
type questions, 40% short answer questions and 40% descriptive type questions.
Moreover, it was pointed out that the question papers are framed strictly from textbooks
and it is not a curriculum based. This issue was discussed and it was agreed that the
present pattern of question papers does not help in the evaluation of knowledge gathered
by students.

Decisions:     It was agreed that the format of the question papers will be revised.

               The papers will have three parts:
               I.     a) 20% will be objective questions. The questions will
                         have multiple choices on the pattern of A/O level exams.
                      b) 50% questions will be for short answers.
                      c) 30% questions will be for descriptive answers.
                         During the year 2006 teachers will be trained to prepare the
                         children to answer the questions on this pattern. Question
                         papers will be prepared in this format from the year 2007
                         onwards.

               II.    Choice of Questions in the question papers will be reduced to 33%
                      with effect from year 2007.

               III.   It will be ensured that the paper contains questions from all
                      chapters.

               IV.    Question of prescribing textbooks or otherwise will be discussed in
                      the next meeting of the Committee.

Item No.9:     Reduction in Number of elective subjects at SSC and HSSC.

        At present a number of elective subjects under the heading of social science,
humanities and technical at SSC and HSSC level are included in the curriculum. It was
discussed in the meeting that some of the elective subjects are irrelevant and furthermore
there is no syllabus and also no examination is being conducted for these subjects.
Therefore, there is a need to reduce the number of elective subjects.

Decisions:

       i)      A Committee of Educationists will be set up by Ministry of Education to
               prepare new scheme of studies for Class-I to Class-XII. This must be
               completed within one month.

       ii)     A special meeting will be called by Ministry of Education for a
               presentation and decisions on this subject.
       iii)   IBCC in consultation with the Director General NISTE will assess the
              feasibility of having subjects for technical stream or one comprehensive
              subject for consideration by the provincial Education Ministers in this
              meeting.

Item No.10: Implementation of Medium Term Development Framework 2005-10.

       The Minister informed that some of the provinces are defaulters for not reporting
the progress on the implementation of MTDF 2005-10.

Decision:     Provinces were requested to send their action plans urgently to the
              Ministry, as the Planning Commission was pressing hard for the
              submission of the requisite information.

Item No.11: a) Resolution passed by the National Assembly on 1st Nov. 2005
            regarding three months Rescue Training to students of all Universities
            and Educational Institutions in the country.
            b) Recommendation of the National Assembly standing Committee on
            Education.

        The Resolution passed by the National Assembly of 3 months Rescue Training to
students of all colleges and universities was discussed in the meeting.           The
recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education for
deleting Pakistan Studies for HSSC and onwards were also considered by the Forum.

Decisions:

       i)     The resolution will be referred to the provinces for their consideration and
              implementation.

       ii)    Deletion of Pakistan Studies from HSSC will be considered while
              considering the reduction in the number of subjects and the new scheme of
              studies.

Item No. 12: Elimination of ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level Exams.

        This agenda item was discussed in detail and it was observed that ‘O’ and ‘A’
level examinations are creating disparity in the society.

Decision:     It was felt that this couldn’t be done immediately. After sufficient
              improvement in the education system of the country, the position will be
              reviewed and requisite decision will be taken. The subject may be
              reviewed in 2010.

Item No.13: Offering Pakistan for International level Academic Assessments.
       Secretary Education, Government of the Punjab introduced the agenda item
emphasizing the need assessment of the qualitative performance of our students through
national assessment mechanism.

Decision:

       i)     The idea was accepted in principle.

       ii)    Necessary preparations for this will be made and the country will be
              offered for this assessment in 2012.


Item No.14: Equivalence of Foreign Qualification for ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level
            Exams.

              This item was withdrawn by Government of the Punjab.




Item No.15: Review Process for National Educational Policy 1998-2010.

       Consultant, Mr. Javed Hasan Aly, presented a roadmap for the preparation of the
National Education Policy. The committee took note of the position explained by the
Consultant.

Item No.16: Proposal to allow grace marks.

        Grace marks up to 11 are being given to candidates of secondary and higher
secondary school examinations and this was considered too liberal for assessing the child
in a subject and affects the quality of education as well.

Decision:     Grace marks will be reduced from 11 to 6. Grace marks would not be
              given in more than two subjects in any examination and marks to be
              awarded in each subject would not be more than 3. This will come into
              effect w.e.f. 2007.

Item No. 17: Reduction in the number of Examination Boards in each province to
             bring uniformity and credibility to the standard of education.

       Proliferation of Examination Boards was discussed in the meeting because it
contributed inconsistency in maintaining the academic standards and quality output of
secondary and higher secondary examinations being conducted by various Boards.

Decisions:
       i)      No new Board will be set up in any Province.

       ii)     The position of current Boards was flagged for consideration by the
               provinces.

       iii)    Punjab Government will prepare a proposal of Centralized Examination
               System and it will be shared with the provinces for their consideration in
               the next meeting.

Item No.18: Establishment of 82,000 Basic Education Community School Project.

         The Minister for Education informed the participants that a revised scheme for the
establishment of Non-Formal Basic Education Centres is already under submission to the
Planning Commission. The revised scheme is more rational and feasible for achieving
the literacy programme in the country.



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