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No exams to happen within the nation until June 15: Shafqat Mahmood

No exams to take place in the country till June 15: Shafqat Mahmood
Federal schooling minister Shafqat Mahmood on Tuesday introduced that no examinations will happen within the nation till June 15, amid a surge in coronavirus circumstances and deaths.

Addressing a press convention in Islamabad after a particular Nationwide Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) assembly, he stated O and A degree exams had been cancelled and would now happen within the October-November cycle. Nonetheless, A2 exams will maintain working for these college students who wish to seem for the aim of making use of to overseas universities.

“It has been directed strictly that after Monday, greater than 50 folks is not going to be in a single centre. For that we have now requested that faculties be made venues,” the minister stated, including that regulation enforcement personnel might be deployed to keep up self-discipline.

In a tweet, Mahmood stated the choice had been taken to handle the “well being issues of scholars and fogeys”.

“All exams cancelled until June 15 and relying on the unfold of the illness might even go additional,” he wrote.

He stated Cambridge exams had been postponed until Oct-Nov for all grades, whereas the one exception was for these A2 college students “who’ve a compulsion to take [the] examination now”.

In response to the minister, college admissions in Pakistan might be aligned for grade 12 and A2 college students who might be taking exams in Oct-Nov. “That is to make sure nobody loses a yr,” he wrote.

The choice comes after widespread calls from college students, activists and politicians for the federal government to cancel the Cambridge exams in view of the third coronavirus wave.

Mahmood in the course of the presser stated a speedy enhance had been seen within the illness for the reason that final assembly held on the problem on the NCOC on April 18, when it was determined that exams can be held as per schedule.

However as a result of the nation is shifting in a route the place areas with excessive an infection charges may be positioned underneath a lockdown, he stated, it was determined with consensus that “all exams might be cancelled till June 15”.

The choice signifies that the exams of grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 that had been as a consequence of begin on the finish of Might stand postponed additional, Mahmood added.

“We are going to proceed analysing [the situation] and in mid-Might or within the third week of Might, we are going to analyse the illness and a choice might be made whether or not to additional postpone exams or permit them to happen. Which means that if exams are began after June 15, they might go into July and a few a part of August as nicely,” he introduced.

The minister stated the cancelled exams of O, A and AS degree would now happen within the October-November cycle, including that for college kids who wished to review in Pakistani universities, the federal government would be sure that admissions remained open until January so they didn’t face any issues.

“However regardless of doing all this, one part of scholars is left whose yr might be wasted if they do not sit the exams [now],” he stated, referring to A2 college students, which quantity round 20,000 in complete.

“After dialogue, it was determined that college students in A2 who as a consequence of some compulsion can’t postpone their exams past September, […] might be given the ability to take exams in keeping with the datesheet they acquired, for his or her facilitation.”

Mahmood famous that Cambridge had introduced that no further charges might be charged for college kids shifting their exams to Oct-Nov, whereas different concessions would even be relevant.

“It is a tough time. A number of dad and mom might be reassured [by the decision] that their kids is not going to go to take a seat exams at a time when Covid is at a peak,” the minister stated, emphasising that the choice had been taken in a “collective spirit” in one of the best pursuits of scholars’ future.

Talking alongside him, Particular Assistant to the Prime Minister on Well being Dr Faisal Sultan stated “strict compliance” of the usual working procedures (SOPs) can be ensured at venues the place A2 college students had been taking exams.

He stated the variety of important Covid-19 sufferers within the nation had surpassed 5,000, the best for the reason that begin of the pandemic. “The third wave of the pandemic is intense and NCOC has taken plenty of steps for strict compliance of restrictions,” he added.

Dr Sultan famous {that a} lockdown was imposed in Mardan yesterday as a result of the positivity price there was very excessive, saying: “The depth of the sickness is excessive and the stress on the well being system can be fairly excessive.”

The NCOC assembly was known as to debate what Mahmood termed “poor” SOPs compliance exterior Cambridge examination centres in addition to the most recent stories concerning the unfold of the coronavirus within the nation.

Over the weekend, college students used the hashtag #NCOCcancelexam to dispel the impression that they had been making the demand as a consequence of being under-prepared, explaining that it was because of the spike in Covid-19 circumstances within the nation.

Nonetheless, exams went forward on Monday with a number of purported movies on social media exhibiting numerous dad and mom gathered exterior examination centres and numerous kids inside examination halls.

A day earlier, Mahmood stated that these not comfy with the present scenario may swap to the October/November cycle “with none further cost” and urged dad and mom and college students to peruse Cambridge’s coverage.

Final week, the Islamabad Excessive Court docket (IHC), Lahore Excessive Court docket (LHC), Peshawar Excessive Court docket (PHC) and Sindh Excessive Court docket (SHC) had dismissed separate petitions difficult the bodily presence of scholars in O and A ranges exams and looking for a swap to school-assessed grades.

The petitions had been filed by college students in every of the 4 excessive courts in opposition to the Cambridge Evaluation Worldwide Training’s (CAIE) choice and the federal government’s approval for holding bodily exams in Pakistan.