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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

British Council announces collaborative support for retakes

British Council offers free retakes for Pakistan A-level students affected by exam cancellations due to political unrest in city

In a significant move, the British Council has offered a glimmer of hope to thousands of Pakistani A-level students whose exams were cancelled due to PTI protests earlier in May. The decision to allow these students to retake their exams free of charge in the upcoming November session reflects a commitment to rectify the dissatisfaction stemming from predicted grades and provides an opportunity for a fair assessment.

Unveiling a Second Chance

Acknowledging the widespread disappointment and outcry among students who received their Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) AS and A-Level results, the British Council, in collaboration with Cambridge International, has paved the way for a retake opportunity. Only students whose exams were cancelled on May 10, 11, and 12 will be eligible for this retake, which will be conducted in the October/November session. This initiative reflects a proactive response to the concerns raised by students regarding their unsatisfactory results, marked by an unexpected abundance of lower grades.

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Addressing the Predicted Grade Conundrum

The primary factor contributing to the disheartening results was the reliance on predicted grades for the exams that were cancelled due to the protests following the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan. With the absence of actual exam scores, predicted grades were assigned, leading to an imbalance and inaccuracy in the final results. The decision to allow students to retake the exams aims to restore fairness and accuracy to the assessment process, thus rectifying the consequences of the disrupted examination schedule.

Collaborative Approach

The British Council’s announcement outlines a collaborative approach involving schools and parents. Schools will play a pivotal role in requesting re-evaluation and re-assessment of students’ grades from Cambridge. While schools will bear 80% of the costs associated with these requests, parents will be responsible for the remaining 20%. However, the significant point to note is that if the re-evaluation leads to changes in grades, the entire fee will be reimbursed, emphasizing the commitment to transparency and accuracy in the assessment process.

Academic Flexibility

Recognizing the broader implications of the disrupted examination cycle, the education ministry plans to collaborate with renowned universities to facilitate flexibility in their admission criteria. This strategic coordination aims to ensure that students are not disadvantaged in their pursuit of higher education due to circumstances beyond their control. This proactive approach underscores the importance of a collective effort to minimize the impact of academic disruptions on students’ future prospects.

Complaints Redressal Mechanism

To address concerns and grievances in a systematic manner, the establishment of a complaints redressal mechanism under the Private Institution Education Regulatory Authority (PIERA) is a noteworthy development. This mechanism will provide a structured platform for students, parents, and schools to voice their concerns, ensuring that unresolved complaints are monitored and addressed effectively. This initiative showcases a commitment to transparency, fairness, and accountability within the education sector.

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The British Council’s announcement of free retakes for A-level students in Pakistan signifies a pivotal step toward addressing the academic disruption caused by the cancellation of exams due to protests. This decision not only reflects a commitment to fairness and accuracy in the assessment process but also showcases a collaborative approach involving schools, parents, and government authorities. As the education system navigates the challenges posed by unforeseen disruptions, initiatives like these pave the way for a more resilient and student-centric approach to assessment and higher education.