The National Board for Professional and Technicians Examination (NABPTEX) is worried about the quality of graduates its affiliated institutions turn out annually.
This is because graduates from its affiliated institutions are technically oriented and their ability to master their areas of specialities is crucial to national development.
Consequently, the NABPTEX, last Thursday, organised a capacity-building workshop for non-university tertiary institutions to school them on the importance of the quality of graduates they produce, the kind of questions they set, the marking scheme and how to score marks.
They were taken through topics such as “Principles of test item construction,” “Preparing marking schemes and test guide,” and “Making test scores valid and reliable.”
The participants were drawn from all the technical universities, polytechnics, other public institutions offering degrees and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) as well as their private counterparts.
Mandate of NABPTEX
Speaking on the mandate of NABPTEX and the need for quality assurance of graduates from those institutions, the Head, Test Development Department of NABPTEX, Dr Peter Boahin, said NABPTEX was mandated to formulate and administer schemes of examinations and standards for skill and syllabus competencies for non-university tertiary institutions with accreditation by the National Accreditation Board.
Dr Boahin explained that NABPTEX affiliated its member institutions after rigorous monitoring and assessment, adding that after they were affiliated, it still monitored them to ensure that they did not compromise standards.
He said consequently, all examination questions, marking schemes and the award of marks from such institutions for their students were brought to NABPTEX for clearance before they were administered to their students.
“NABPTEX ensures that final certificates and diplomas are awarded on merit so that the right calibre of students pass out of the non-university tertiary institutions, professional bodies and private institutions,” he explained.
Dr Boahin stressed that any of the affiliated institutions that flouted the directives of NABPTEX would not be allowed to graduate its students and would also not be given certificates.
He was happy that the institutions were following the laid down regulations set by NABPTEX, adding that even though they were doing the right thing, the board would want them to do more, especially with the aspect concerning examinations.
The Head, Curriculum Development & Research of NABPTEX, Mr John Jonathan Afetorgbor, explained that before the affiliation was given to an institution, “We have a certain checklist; “we look at the facilities. We want to ensure that you have the necessary facilities so as not to disturb the students.”
He said such institutions needed to be accredited first before seeking the affiliation, and added, “We look at the classrooms to be sure that you have all the necessary facilities, we look at your staff as to whether they qualify to teach those programmes even though the National Accreditation Board (NAB) goes even deeper.
“We also check the examination office because we want you to have credible examination so that the students that will come out will have the right skills to go into the job market,” he added.
Mr Afetorgbor said the curriculum of its affiliated institutions was tailored toward the job market, explaining that when NABPTEX was developing programmes, it involved the industries to be sure that when the students passed out, they were ready for the job market.
The Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Ghana, Professor Jonathan Fletcher, who took the participants through the Principles of Test Item Construction, said examination was key in getting students to learn and was a basis to identify the most qualified person for either the purposes of job or placement in schools, among others.
He took the participants through practical exercises with the intention of letting them not only get the right examinations, but also get the examinations right.