Before the establishment of PEC, examinations were organized by the Director Public Instructions (DPI) that provided guidelines along with Model Question Papers for Grade–V and Grade-VIII. The Executive District officers of Education were required to develop the question papers according to the pattern of model papers and further arrange examinations for grade V and VIII in accordance to the guidelines given by the Directorate. However, the schedule for the examinations along with activity plan was provided by the Directorate of Public Instruction (EE), Punjab.
The sample analysis of the examinations conducted in the districts depicted the following results:
Overall quality of papers varied substantially.
Question papers didn’t represent the curriculum.
Some areas needed improvement, such as paper setting, marking schemes and consistency of the question difficulty with the children’s knowledge.
Since each district was creating its own paper, examination results couldn’t be compared among districts. The district and school comparisons of results would have become possible only if all students were responding to identical examination papers.
In Dec 2005, a need for the establishment of an autonomous body was felt for the assessment of students’ learning achievement in the province. This idea was given the shape of reality with the approval of the Governor for the establishment of “Punjab Examination Commission” as an autonomous body on 16th January, 2006 with a challenging task to establish new setup and to organize Grade-V Examination to be held the same year.
Dr.Ken Vine and Dr.Ted Redden with the collaboration of UNICEF organized training of paper setters. A team of Master-Trainers was further developed to provide training to the field staff.
Uniform question papers in each subject were developed for assessing the learning achievements of the students across the province and to have the comparison of student abilities on the basis of standard and uniform yard-stick.
Today, PEC arranges training courses on the methodology of the new system of examinations for subject specialists, teachers, paper developers, examiners and paper markers. Master trainers have been trained by PEC to train head teachers in all the districts. The head teachers are then required to share their knowledge with their fellow teachers.
PEC is providing the Government with judicious comments on the quality of the curriculum and the teachers training program by making it more effective and realistic.