Ministry of Education, the Government’s Education Policies (1992 and 1998-2010) and the Education Sector Reforms (ESR) Action Plan 2001-2005 recognize the fact that quality of education is an important contributory factor in national development. The monitoring of learning achievements of students is, therefore, one of the key components to assess and to improve the quality of education. National Education Assessment System (NEAS) is one of the key programs of the ESR under Quality Assurance innovative programme agenda of the Government. The program would develop national capacity for monitoring the learning achievements of elementary level students in order to improve the quality of services (curriculum, textual material, teachers’ delivery, policy formulation, etc) in the education sector.The basic objective of NEAS is to establish a system of student assessment in the Ministry of Education and to develop national capacity for conducting assessments periodically to monitor student achievement. A small project on Immediate Requirements costing Rs.10.807 million for a period of 16 months (March 2002 to June 2003) was approved by the government and is under implementation through funds allocated under ESR program. However, since the objective cannot be achieved in a short span of 16 months, a 5 years project has been prepared for making national assessment a permanent feature of the education system even after the project period.The donors’ assistance has also been sought in the area of professional expertise of international standing, local and foreign training through twinning arrangements, implementation and pilot testing and other related areas of assessment.

Relationship with the objectives of the sector:

Education policy and planning documents of the Government of Pakistan repeatedly mention the objectives of:

(a) universal primary education through increased enrolment and retention; and

(b) improvement in the quality of education through improved service delivery in the areas of teaching, learning materials, management and supervision.The above objectives are among the priorities of the National Education Policy (1998-2010) and the Education Sector Reform proposals. One of the specific priorities is to “build assessment capacity at the school, provincial and federal level to better measure learning outcomes, improve the quality and effectiveness of program interventions”.NEAS would also develop institutional capacity of Ministry of Education as well as the provinces and areas to monitor the standards of education in the country, a responsibility for which the Ministry of Education holds a legal mandate (Act X of 1976).


The main objective of the NEAS is to establish a National Education Assessment System in the Ministry of Education (MOE) with the participation of provinces and areas. The role of NEAS and Provincial/Area Assessment Centers as agreed to in the Provincial Workshops and National Technical Group Meetings.No facilities exist in the MoE for conducting national assessments to determine as to what the existing standards of education are in the country, although Act X of 1976 has assigned the MOE a legal mandate for ‘maintenance of standards of education’. Information about student achievement from traditional school examinations, or from the external examinations conducted by the Boards of Intermediate and Secondary
Education is not comparable across the country because the marks are derived from different tests or examinations. The MOE has a leading coordinating role in this initiative to integrate Provincial/Area assessment activities to direct them to a common purpose and standard of measurement so that national level assessments of student achievement could be made on a periodic basis.

Specifically, the objectives of the project are:

To institutionalize a monitoring system which permits and encourages continuing educational improvement at the elementary level;

1. to develop institutional capacity for test development, test administration, statistical analysis and report writing targeted at stake holders, capacity developers;

2. to establish a baseline of student achievement and develop institutional capacity to conduct periodic assessments for obtaining monitoring indicators;

3. to analyze student performance with reference to variation in instructional context, student background and other factors affecting student achievement in order to identify the effectiveness of educational inputs and interventions;

4.to identify strong and weak areas of student learning with reference to the curriculum and target competencies, for appropriate action;

5. to assess performance of teachers and educational institutions by relating it to the learning achievements of students;

6. to provide feedback to policy makers and frontline implementers to enable them to develop effective strategies and action plans for improving the quality of education;

7.to inform parents, community members and other stakeholders about quality of education;


to establish professional linkages with relevant
national and international institutions;

9. to promote uniformity of academic standards in accordance with national and international institutions.

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