USAID provides USD 275,000 worth of equipment for Afghan Kankor exam reforms
United States Ambassador P. Michael McKinley, on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), presented the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education with $275,000 worth of equipment that will support the Ministry’s reform agenda for the national public university entry exam, known as the Kankor.
USAID is providing the Ministry with digital multifunctional printers, optical mark reader scanners, and heavy duty scanners, and is training staff on how to operate them. This equipment will help the Ministry improve the efficiency of printing and scoring exams.
The Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Farida Momand, President Ashraf Ghani’s Special Representative on Reform and Good Governance, Ahmad Zia Masoud, 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. This advances 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 Minister of Higher Education Farida 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.
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