The Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) has undertaken a significant policy shift to enhance the effectiveness of practical exams for matric and intermediate students.
In a move set to be implemented next year, the FBISE will eliminate practical notebooks and viva voce from the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) examinations.
The matric exam is scheduled for April, while the HSSC (intermediate) exams are slated for May 2024.
Under the new policy, students will undergo a practical-based assessment exam, replacing the traditional components of practical notebooks and viva voce.
A notification issued by the FBISE on November 13 outlined the changes, stating, “The existing pattern of practical [exams] will continue for a transitional period of 2024 examinations with certain amendments i.e. instead of notebooks and viva voce, there will be structured questions.”
The marks allocated for practical notebooks and viva voce will now be redirected to structured questions, which students will answer on provided answer sheets.
FBISE Chairman Qaiser Alam addressed concerns about the previous system, citing reports of students obtaining solved practical notebooks from markets. He emphasized that the new policy, requiring students to pass practical-based assessment exams, aims to address these issues and promote genuine practical work.
The FBISE received backing for the policy change from the Inter-Board Coordination Commission (IBCC), an organization encompassing all national boards, which recently passed a resolution urging boards to enhance their practical exam systems.
Executive Director IBCC Dr. Ghulam Ali Mallah praised the FBISE for its initiative and expressed hope that other boards would follow suit in making their practical exams more effective.