ISLAMABAD: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Friday established its own Education Testing Council (ETC) for offering free testing services to students of all public and private sector.The public and private universities will be required to adopt the ETC for admissions. This testing body will be operational from spring 2017.Federal Minister for Planning and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal launched the ETC at a ceremony held at the HEC.
State Minister for Federal Education Balighur Rehman and Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and Chairman National Assembly standing committing on federal education Amirullah Marwat were also present.Speaking on the occasion, the chairman HEC said the ETC would be a standardised entry test for undergraduate admissions for which the representative university would determine weightage of the test after approval from its governing body. He said initially the council would conduct the test for undergraduate students and later for MS and PhD admissions as well.
The test will be valid for a period of two years. He announced that the government would bear the cost of the test which would be held twice a year. “The test will be free for all students desirous of taking admission to public and private universities,” he said.Ahsan Iqbal said the establishment of the council was a part of the government’s efforts to achieve the targets of Vision 2025 which was a roadmap for country’s development in all spheres. He hoped that the ETC would prove to be a credible and transparent entity to adopt a testing mechanism of international standard. The body will have experts from both public and private sectors.
Balighur Rahman appreciated the HEC for taking the much-needed step for the standardisation of education in the country.It may be mentioned that in the absence of any testing body at the government level, students desiring admission to universities were compelled to appear in the entry test conducted by the National Testing Service – a private commercial entity. However, the Lahore High Court in 2014 declared the NTS as an unapproved body and ruled that recognised universities/institutions were not under any lawful obligation to conduct the test by NTS or bound by its test results.