Examinations to be held on schedule in Pakistan: Shafqat Mehmood

Federal Minister for education announces that exams will be held as per schedule. He further explains that all the authorities have decided to proceed with the CIE in Pakistan as the organization has ensured to conduct examinations with all the SOPs.

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Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood on Tuesday announced the unanimous decision to conduct examinations in Pakistan. He also talked about the opening/closure of educational institutes all over Pakistan following the third wave of COVID-19.

Shafqat Mehmood announced that the government has decided to shut down schools for students of first grade to eighth grade in the most affected districts and areas until 28th April. Authorities will again review the situation on 28th April to decide if the closure of schools needs to be extended till Eid-ul-Fitr.

He added that the Punjab education minister informed NCOC and the education ministry that 13 districts are severely affected due to COVID-19 in Punjab. Adding that the decision will be implemented in KP as well. However, it is upon the discretion of the provinces to decide and implement as and when they deem fit.

Read more: Schools to be closed as third wave of Covid-19 hits

The government has also decided to conduct the classes of secondary and higher secondary schools in the premises with strict COVID-19 SOPs even in the areas highly affected due to COVID-19.

The decision has been taken with the realization of the immense loss of education of students. The minister added that it will allow schools and students to cover their courses ahead of examinations to be conducted in May.

Shafqat Mehmood informed that universities in affected areas will be conducting virtual classes for students whereas in the least affected areas classed are to be conducted on the premises.

Read more: Is Pakistan headed towards educational disaster as schools remain closed?

Annual examinations in Pakistan

Federal Minister said that the government has decided to conduct a local annual examination of secondary and higher secondary in the third week of May. Hence, the date given by the Punjab Education Ministry of May 4th for the annual examination has been extended.

He said the extension has been granted to allow students to prepare fully for examination. Examinations all over Pakistan will start from the end of May leading to June and even July, depending upon the situation in provinces.

Read more: Pakistan education system on knife’s edge

Federal Minister added that they have requested the university to extend the dates of entrance exams since it will take time to release the results of students.

He also informed that Cambridge International Examinations are to be held on schedule despite calls from students to delay the examinations in Pakistan.

Shafqat Mehmood explained that all the authorities have decided to proceed with the CIE in Pakistan as the organization has ensured to conduct examinations with all the SOPs. Also, the students taking the international exam in Pakistan are in less number than compared to taking local examination hence they are easy to manage.

He also dispelled the concept that there are no examinations taking place in this region. He added that according to the data collected by the government institutions, international and local examinations are taking place in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and other countries except for Bangladesh.

He exhorted students to fully prepare for the examination adding that CIE will be held in Pakistan according to the schedule. All the education and health ministers have fully agreed on the decision with an intent to save the future of students.

Read more: O Level and IGCSE exam date changed, Education Minister

He said that last year they had promoted students based on their previous records but this year the government does not have any options hence examinations are necessary.

Shafqat Mehmood said that the Sindh government has already decided to suspend classes for primary and middle school.

The federal minister added that they are monitoring the situation closely and will later decide to shut schools accordingly.

Read more: How COVID-19 exposed a vulnerable education system in Pakistan

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