Private A-level candidates demand early inclusion in assessed grade process

LAHORE :10 May: Private A level candidates have demanded the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) to include them in the assessed grade process in the June 2020 series and not to defer them to November 2020. Talking to The News a number of candidates termed the CAIE announced arrangements for assessment “discriminatory” and “disappointing” observing that private entries candidates had been studying equally with different evening institutions. They urged the CAIE authorities to review the decision and provide an equal chance of assessed grades approach to all private entries candidates. Talking to The News, senior educationist and independent policy contributor Suhail Zafar said workable solutions were available to avoid any discrimination between two sets of candidates. He further said there were only a few thousands of private candidates who entered in the CAIE exams through the British Council and there was enough time with the British Council to adopt a similar assessment mechanism for private entries candidates in Pakistan by deploying leading teachers of the subjects. Suhail Zafar, who closely monitors the working of the foreign education providers in Pakistan, has also taken up the issue with the CAIE authorities in the UK. In an email to the CAIE Suhail wrote: “They (private candidates) may approach a CAIE Centre that has all assessment and prediction templates in place and the centre submits a predicted grade in the same manner as it has been done for the regular candidates after marshaling evidence employing a range of tools i.e., class work, homework, previous exam results, any prior attainment information, general progress, tutor credentials, assignment results, tests, among others. All centres in this part of the world where all candidates who appear are either directly registered under British Council or any attached centres but the examination is solely administered by the British Council and therefore they may quite comfortably administer this process for private candidates with or without involving centres.” Meanwhile in a statement a CAIE spokesperson said all private candidates who entered for A Level subjects and who took the staged assessment route, i.e. who have AS Level grades gained in June 2019 and/or November 2019 will be included in the assessed grade process in the June 2020 series. “For the rest of the private candidates, for whom we do not have any school records or evidence, they can take their exams in Oct/Nov 2020. We have made additional subjects available in Oct/ Nov so that they have the same options available as they would in May/ June series. Cambridge Assessment International Education has announced at the beginning that we will treat private candidates in the same way as school candidates, in that all the grades we award will be based on evidence. We will only issue grades for those candidates for which required evidence is available, even from schools,” concluded the statement.The news.

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