US assists Afghan Kankor exam reform plan
KABUL (Pajhwok): United States Ambassador P. Michael McKinley on Tuesday presented the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education with $275,000 worth of equipment to support the ministry’s reform agenda for the national public university entry exam, known as Kankor.
McKinley presented the equipment on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American people, a statement from the US Embassy said.
The equipment include digital multifunctional printers, optical mark reader scanners and heavy duty scanners and Afghans are being trained on how to operate them. “This equipment will help the Ministry of Higher Education improve the efficiency of printing and scoring exam,” the statement said.
Higher Education Minister Dr. Farida Momand, President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Representative on Reform and Good Governance Ahmad Zia Massoud, and USAID Mission Director Herbie Smith also attended the event.
“USAID, at the request of the Minister, has provided modern printing, copying and scanning equipment so that the Ministry can expedite the examination process, minimize fraud, and improve service delivery,” said Ambassador McKinley.
“The high-speed printer will complete one set of question papers in two seconds and improve information security by reducing the number of people working in the printing facility from 12 to two.”
He said the equipment would help advance the Afghan government’s national higher education strategy plan to improve both the system of administering the Kankor examination as well as the integrity of the exam."It comes with a great pleasure that today; once again, we witness another significant accomplishment in Afghanistan’s higher education sector,” said Momand.
“As a result of this accomplishment, the working capacity and transparency in one of the Ministry’s most important sections will be improved. Consequently, we can eliminate some of the challenges faced in the Kankor examination.”
In the past, the Kankor exam has suffered from allegations of corruption, cheating, and favoritism. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Higher Education launched a reform campaign to improve the integrity of the exam process. With a high-speed printer, the Examinations Department can print unique answer keys for each test taker and hundreds of versions of the exam.
The new equipment greatly reduces opportunities for fraud and can significantly increase the transparency and productivity of the Kankor process.
Increasing the exam’s transparency supports critical Afghan reforms to improve governance and the delivery of education services.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.