EVALUATION TECHNIQUES IN PUNJAB, PAKISTAN: EIGHT YEARS OF REFORMS IN HEALTH PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
AbstractPakistan, the most populated country in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region has a populationof over 170 million, spread over five provinces and four federally administered areas. It has agrowth rate of 1.9%. Punjab is the most populous and developed province with an estimatedpopulation in 2010 of 81 million. In 2008, Punjab’s development index of 0.60 and a literacy rateof 80% were the highest in the country. In Pakistan, the number of doctors and nurses has risenfrom 48 to 71 per 100,000 and from 16 to 30 per 100,000, respectively between 1990 and 2003.The major challenge, still, is the imbalance of the population to health-care workers ratio. At thetime of creation of Pakistan, King Edward Medical College was the only fully functioning medicalcollege. Over the years, as a result of health reform initiatives, a number of government medicalcolleges were established in the country. University of Health Sciences, Lahore was established in2002, having sole jurisdiction over all medical, dental and allied health institutes in the provincewith the aim of moving medical education towards an outcome-based patient and communityoriented competency-driven system. This paper attempts to clarify how initiatives and reforms inthe evaluation process have helped the UHS realise its aims. Evaluation in all branches of highereducation has long been taken as a means to an end. The focus of UHS on teacher-training,introduction of behavioural sciences as a compulsory subject and setting up an outcome-basedevaluation process, has established a knowledge-acquisition medical education atmosphere. Thechallenges in the future relate to sustainability through capacity-building and staying abreast withthe Best Evidence Medical Education practices worldwide, implementing them to fit our localneeds and resources.Keywords: Evaluation, Examination, Education, Punjab, OSCE, OSPE
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