Cancellation of board exams opposed

LAHORE:08 May:Students, their parents and teachers on Thursday expressing concerns over the government’s decision of cancelling all the board examinations have demanded the government to review its decision. Federal Minister for Education & Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood announcing that decisions of National Coordination Committee (NCC) said all educational institutions across the country would remain closed till July 15 while all board exams throughout the country had been cancelled. He added: “Students would be assessed on their previous performance in board exams.” A number of teachers and parents of students talking to The News said in Punjab Covid-19 related closure and suspension of exams took place when only two papers of Class-9 Annual Examinations 2020 were conducted by the nine Boards of Intermediate & Secondary Education (BISEs) of the province. They questioned as to how the kids could be promoted to Class 10 as they were yet to be tested for Class-9? They further said since there was no uniformity in schools vis-à-vis internal exams, etc. it was next to impossible to award marks to Class 8 students and justify the same for promotion to Class-9. Punjab Teachers Union (PTU) also expressed concerns over the decision of cancelling the exams and promoting students after assessment of their previous performance in the Board exams. PTU general secretary Rana Liaqat said fate of the candidates who were appearing in the Class-9 annual exams of the Boards was unclear therefore the government should review its decision. He said promoting Class-10 students to Class-11 was also difficult to understand as practical portion of the Class-10 exams was yet to be conducted by the Exam Boards in Punjab. A number of parents talking to The News questioned will the boards reimburse fee they had collected from the students for the conduct of the exams saying the same should be reimbursed if the Boards won’t conduct exams and students would be assessed on their previous performance in the Board exams. Ahmed, father of candidate for the Lahore Board’s Class-10 exams, said students put more efforts in the exams and their assessment based on performance in previous exams (in this case Class-9) could never be justified. “My son could not perform excellent in Class-9 but he was more prepared for Class-10 exams this time”, Ahmed said and questioned “Can you justify his assessment on his previous performance?” He demanded the government review its decision and offer practical solutions in this time of crisis. Another worried father, Haroon, said there was contradiction in the government’s approach to tackle the situation vis-à-vis the coronavirus pandemic. He said while the ongoing lockdown was being relaxed despite surge in the cases, exams were being cancelled. He suggested that the government should postpone the exams and conduct the same after the situation normalised. “There is no harm if in these extraordinary circumstances our academic calendar is disturbed,” he said and demanded that the government should not cancel the exams. Meanwhile, Punjab Minister for School Education Dr Murad Raas has said that all public and private schools across the province would remain closed until July 15, 2020. In a social media message, the minister said that details of promotion to next classes and board exams in Punjab would be explained in a notification.The news.

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