The pandemic of COVID-19 seems unending, and the lethal virus is affecting the masses in the worst possible ways. Ever since the government of Pakistan announced the lockdown and ban on educational institutes, students were in misery until the announcement of Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood.
After the proclamation of Shafqat Mehmood regarding the leniency and cancelation of board exams, several students celebrated. Notwithstanding, it was the worst decision for A-level students who try tooth and nail to pass examination yet find it hard to get admittance in Pakistani universities.
2/4. 3) All students who could not appear in class 10 and 12 exams will be assessed on class 9 and 11 results provided they had cleared all subjects. 3% marks will be added to their total marks calculated for class 10 and 12.
— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) May 14, 2020
One of such students contacted Parhlo.com and asserted her grievances. Aysha Zulfiqar, a student of A-level, who spoke up on the issue first, told Parhlo that A-level students were not getting any compensation from the government. It is a known fact that students of A-level face cuts of 10% in marks while taking admission to certain colleges and universities in Pakistan. In this scenario, leverage of 3% marks to FSC students will further aggrandize adversities for the Cambridge students.
‘FSC students receiving grace marks’
“There has been a cancellation of exams across all boards, Cambridge and IBCC; the only difference is FSC students are receiving grace marks whilst A level students have neither been given any leeway nor have much control over the outcome of their grades,” Aysha added.
“Competing for seats in public universities even though marks are deducted after equivalency with A-level grades is usually fine; however, this time this deduction will pale in comparison to the increase in marks every FSC student will get. As a result, A level students are being neglected.”
Earlier, she also took to Twitter and posted about the issues. However, her account got reported and she had to make another profile.
Twitter locked my original account @ayshaz11 I am trying my best to get it back until then I’ll use this. @Shafqat_Mahmood @SaeedGhani1 @ImranKhanPTI #JusticeforAlevels #JusticeForImprovers pic.twitter.com/zVIJrWbgFz
— aysha (@ayshazulfi) May 19, 2020
Aysha continued, “There are hundreds of students who yearn to become doctors and engineers. However, the edge FSC students are getting may shatter dreams of several O and A-level students.”
The way forward
A-level students are demanding equality. Aysha demanded 3% or 1.5% grace marks from the Inter Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) while making equivalence certificates of Cambridge students. “Grace marks will also unfairly increase the threshold; when 990/1100 is the absolute highest an A level student can obtain,” she added.
“The final solution is that the weightage of the merit be 70% entry exam (eg MDCAT) and 30% FSc/A level grades so that these admissions are based on hard work and not luck!”
Aysha said that she and her fellow students would work for the betterment of Pakistan. “If the government will not support us, who will?
The government of Pakistan has indeed done a great job for FSC students; however, it largely ignored Cambridge students. Above all, The deadly pandemic of COVID-19 has affected masses in various ways. Hence, the students are asking the government to compensate them via the platform of IBCC.
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