The heads of educational boards have decided that all exams and assessments will now focus on “conceptual learning.” The decision was announced in a statement issued by the Intermediate Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC).

Speaking to Dawn, Secretary IBCC Prof Dr Ghulam Ali Mallah said that Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood had directed the IBCC to take this step to end the widespread practice of rote learning.

The secretary said that students will now be tested on their understanding of the course material instead of being asked questions taken directly from their textbooks.

According to a statement issued by the IBCC, 30% weightage will be given to knowledge, 50% to understanding and 20% to application.

Major recommendations made by the board included introducing automation of examination for improving transparency and developing a central rubric to make assessment more efficient.

Rote memorization or ‘ratta’ as it is often called, is a common practice across many schools and colleges in Pakistan due to a number of flaws in the education system and discourages actual learning from taking place. Until those all the flaws are addressed we will probably be stuck with ratta for quite some time.

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