Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood announced on Tuesday that board exams for classes 9, 10, and 11 will be held from the third week of May. Meanwhile, Cambridge exams will be held as per schedule. Meanwhile, there will be no in-person classes for grade 1 to 8 in areas affected by COVID-19 till April 28.
Mahmood made the announcement while addressing the media after the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) held a meeting to review the opening of the country’s educational institutions.
Commenting on upcoming examinations, the minister said approximately 4 million students give the board exams. “It was decided that exams for grade 9, 10, 11, and 12 will be held, but because they are our own they will be pushed to the third week of May.”
He added the date sheet announced by Punjab would also be revised so that the coronavirus situation is under control and children have time to prepare. “All provinces and boards have given separate timetables. But nothing will happen before May 24.”
Regarding A and O level examinations, the minister said approximately 85,000 students will sit for the exams. “It was unanimously recommended to allow these exams to go forward as planned. This is because these concern a significantly smaller number of students,” he said. Moreover, he added that Cambridge International had assured the government of ensuring the implementation of SOPs.
Mahmood also dispelled the notion that Cambridge exams were not being held in other countries in the region. “That is not correct. Apart from Bangladesh, exams are being held in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and others.”
No change in date sheet to be entertained
“I want to repeat this […] exams for A and O level will be held according to the date sheet. There will be no change in this.” Therefore, students should prepare for their exams and not be distracted, he advised.
The minister said the government’s top priority was the children’s future. He said that last year students for grade 9, 10 and 11 were passed on the grade for the previous year. “Now we don’t even have that. So it is important to give the exams.”
Shortly after his press conference concluded, Mahmood in a tweet, reiterated his advice to students and urged them to “start preparing and working hard”.
Students express their grief taking to Twitter once again
The decision comes in a week after students requested Mahmood to cancel the exams. The minister said classes for grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 will be allowed to resume from April 19.
In addition to this, he said that universities had been asked to push back the deadlines for admission. Last month, the minister sparked a meme fest as he announced the closure of schools.
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