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Students demand HEC abolish National Testing Services (NTS)Examination

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Students demand HEC abolish National Testing Services (NTS)Examination

Lahore, May 24, 2008: Students from various institutions have demanded the Higher Education Commission (HEC) abolish the requirement of passing an examination under the National Testing Services (NTS) before getting admission to a higher educational institution.

The students said on Friday that the NTS examination system should be eliminated and the educational institutions should hold their own entry tests for admissions.

HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi said Bachelor's and Master's level institutions affiliated with the HEC were independent to take decisions in this regard.

The HEC last year introduced a policy making affiliated universities conduct the NTS examination and students required to obtain at least 50 percent marks in it for their admission to Master's, MPhil, and PhD programmes.

The HEC director said that clearing the NTS examination was made compulsory, even for students who were studying in MPhil and PhD programmes. According to the policy these students are required to pass the test before they have finished their programmes, and it they do not, their degrees will be cancelled.

The Punjab University (PU) and Education University (EU) initiated the NTS examination system last year. This erupted into a heated debate about the NTS examination and in the end several institutions withdrew the NTS examination requirement and arranged their own entry tests for admissions. The PU administration recently abolished the NTS examination and announced that its departments would conduct their own entry tests.

PU Admission Committee Chairman Dr Jamil Anwer said that it was decided in a meeting with the PU deans that the university would not hold the NTS examination this year and instead the departments would conduct their own entry tests for Bachelor's and Master's classes.

GCU: This year, the NTS examination issue arose again when the Government College University (GCU) Lahore made the NTS examination compulsory for students who wanted admission. GCU Communications Adviser Iqbal Anjum said that this year students would have to clear the NTS examination for their admission to the university, otherwise they would be refused.

The students said the GCU's announcement had disappointed them, and they wanted the HEC to end the NTS examination system.

PU student Bilal Sheikh said they had been confused for the last few months, since they had to join various academies to prepare for the NTS examination.

Another PU student of Social Sciences Department, Ammara Khan, said she had thrice sat in the NTS examination but she could not pass it. "It is a difficult examination, especially for arts' students, since it contains mathematical, scientific and analytical questions," she added.

FCCU: Suliman Farooq, an intermediate student at Forman Christian College University (FCCU), said students feared FCCU would also start the NTS examination for admission in its BS Honour classes. Farooq said that due to the NTS examination many students would be deprived of admission to various reputed institutions.

However, FCCU Registrar Prof Hamid Saeed said FCCU would continue holding its own entry test for students' admission to Bachelor's and Master's classes.

BNU: Beaconhouse National University (BNU) teacher Arfa Sarfraz said the NTS examination was not a suitable way to check the academic level of a student. She said that BNU would not conduct the NTS examination.

BNU President Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Salik said that they opposed the NTS examination, and that it was disturbing students.

LCWU: Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) Communication Adviser Anjum Zia said that the LCWU departments would conduct their own entry tests. KC: A Kinnaird College (KC) official said that the college conducted its own entry tests last year, and would continue the practice this year.

 Daily Times