PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has ordered an inquiry into the allegations of paper leak of tests for vacant posts of teachers in the Elementary and Secondary Education Department (ESED) conducted by the National Testing Service (NTS), a private testing agency.

KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has ordered a fact-finding inquiry into the allegations made by several candidates that tests for the posts of primary school teachers (PST) on Sunday were leaked. Reports of paper leak were received from Karak, Buner, Mardan, Shangla, Dera Ismail Khan and Upper Dir districts.

In Peshawar, some candidates alleged that answer keys were provided to candidates before the paper, which raises a question mark on transparency. The candidates alleged that the merit was openly violated through cheating which is a huge injustice with deserving candidates. The candidates said the provincial government, which regularly claims of upholding merit, must cancel the exam and order the testing agency to hold fresh exams to ensure transparency.

The inquiry ordered by the chief minister will be conducted by the provincial inspection team (PIT) and the Chief Minister’s Secretariat has issued a letter to the PIT in this regard. The inquiry will be completed within a week.

The test results of the Sunday’s papers have been withheld and further action will be taken in light of the inquiry report. Sources said it is most likely that the PST paper will be cancelled and the testing agency will be asked to arrange it again.

The PST paper during the 2019 recruitment of teachers conducted under the same testing agency was also cancelled over similar complaints. The testing agency continuously insists its process is transparent and there is no truth in allegations of paper leak or provision of answer keys in advance.

The chief minister said in his statement that merit and transparency in the recruitment of government employees is the top most priority of his government that will not be compromised at any cost. He said strict action would be taken against those involved in the matter.

On Sunday, candidates who had applied for vacant teaching posts in Lower Dir staged a massive protest against irregularities in conduct of examination.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Department has given the contract of appointment of different district cadre teaching posts to NTS and it has conducted tests for the posts of senior subject teachers (SST), physical education teachers (PET), certified teachers (CT), Arabic teachers (AT), drawing masters (DM), Qari/Qaria and primary school teachers (PST).

The candidates in Lower Dir complained that they saw some candidates solving the paper outside the exam hall, which is open cheating and usurpation of the right of deserving and capable candidates. The candidates said the pictures of the leaked papers are also circulating on the social media.

Few days ago, the Youth Wing of Jamaat-e-Islami also held protest against mismanagement in NTS and ETEA tests and accused these testing agencies of promoting favouritism and culture of bribery.

 

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