CSS Assessment Criteria Needs To Be Reformulated

Mujeeb Ali Samo;
It is the dream of thousands of aspiring candidates to join a career of their choice getting a Central Superior Service (CSS) job through Federal Public Service Commission’s (FPSC) competitive examination. But, unfortunately, this does not happen here because of fewer opportunities and low quality education. This is also because of corruption and unjust system of recruitment. Some of the aspiring candidates could achieve, what they want, by the chance. This means that getting a job in this country is by chance, not by choice. The results of competitive examinations, conducted yearly by FPSC, testify this claim. Thousands of aspiring candidates fill up  the forms but those appearing and the qualifying are hardly two to three hundred. This result is discouraging for others when they learn that the cause of their failure is Essay English Paper. I cannot understand the logic of failing the candidate who in other eleven subjects makes good. How come it is possible that the candidate will fail in the English paper? I have observed during past several years the result wherein the candidates have obtained less than 10 marks and even the double zero score in the English essay paper. It makes me raise the questions on the criteria of checking the papers of English essay and other papers of the CSS examination. Is it a philosophy or necromantic knowledge that the candidate couldn’t pass the English paper? What evaluating areas are examined by panel of checker that the candidates have possessed not? It is not logical that the candidates secure less than 10 marks in the English essay. Though there are certain other areas which are checked – like the grammar, composition, expressions, ideas knowledge, and layout so and so. These areas also contain some marks while checking the paper of English essay writing. May be one does not possess the proper knowledge of thesis statement, but he must have the proper knowledge of composition and the language. It is therefore proposed that kindly reformulate the proper checking criteria of the paper. This is the matter of career of the candidate who has devoted his life to secure his future by achieving the distinction. The CSS essay paper has always remained mystery for the aspiring candidates. As per report of FPSC regarding the CSS 2018 examination, posted on its official website, a significant number of the candidates did not have a clear sense of the essentials of a comprehensive essay or the features which differentiate an essay from other forms of writing. Candidates must know about the qualities of a standard Essay and the standard expected by the Commission in the Competitive Exam. This is miserable state to know that the results are very discoursing for last few years. The ratio of successful candidates has dropped over the past four years with 3.3 percent in 2014, 3.1 percent in 2015, 2.06 percent in 2016 and 3.3 percent in 2017, with a slight increase in CSS 2018 (Written Part) with 4.79 percent. The failing ratio is alarming to us for last many years. The aspiring candidates are always looking forward for better opportunities in their career. When they attempt the country’s most competitive examination their hopes are high that they will be decorated with laurels at the end. But the results are very disastrous to hear. The passing is at 1 to 3 percent every year. The reason assigned by the FPSC think tank is that there is no quality education in our institutions. In its annual reports, the FPSC has been lamenting the low quality of education of the candidates, and urging the government to work expeditiously on ameliorating the situation. For instance, FPSC’s Annual Report 2016, asserted: “… higher education system in the country requires urgent attention of the policymakers for a comprehensive review to identify the gray areas.” It also recommended “overall revision of syllabi at all levels of education … improving the general ability of students and proficiency in languages (i.e. English or Urdu as a medium of communication).” The government is therefore urged to take appropriate steps for raising the standard of education. The failure to achieve the distinction in job always embodies disappointment. Our youth is already suffering from  unemployment and is haunted by the witch of fewer opportunities in the life. Their entire career of doing study at school, college and the university is void to meet with the criteria of competitive examination like CSS and other related examinations like PMS and PCS. It is undesirable, and jeopardizes the future of whole nation. These non-qualifying standards of education must be redressed at the earliest so as to save thousands of youths from failing, and stigmatized as ‘unsuccessful’ in competition of the top examinations of the country.

(-The Writer is a Columnist & Social Activist Larkana.)

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