For the past few days, Twitter has been buzzing with Pakistani students voicing their concerns with physical O and A Level examinations being held later this year. According to them, holding the exams is unfair, given the troubled academic year. Students are requesting Shafqat Mahmood to cancel exams under CIE.
The Cambridge International Examination (CIE) board made an announcement earlier. It said that it would be canceling physical exams in 10 countries including the UK. Instead, grade students based on their teachers’ assessment, or expected grades. However, not for Pakistan.
As Pakistan finds itself in its third COVID-19 wave, with cases and the positivity ratio both soaring, students question the sanity behind the decision to conduct physical exams during a pandemic.
Students also speak about how difficult it is to learn during online classes. The availability of online resources to aid learning might make one believe in the realization of a technological utopia. However, that is far from the case. Students and teachers have been struggling to use the platforms effectively.
Given the rising COVID-19 cases across the country, students are also concerned about the safety of physical exams. Students, in their tweets, have been making appeals to the Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood. The students have taken to social media to voice their discontent with Shafqat Mahmood’s update, demanding the government and the CIE board to cancel exams.
Hashtag ‘cancel CIE exams 2021’ trends on Twitter
While many students talk about how they struggled with online learning and missed out on lessons, others say their mental health has suffered during the pandemic.
Good news for students!
Meanwhile, Mehmood on Wednesday said the government would hold discussions with the CIE board today about the O and A level exams.
“We will hold a meeting with Cambridge again today to review the situation. We will see if these exams can be postponed,” Mehmood said after chairing a meeting of education and health ministers at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).
Earlier, CIE had announced that it would run a ‘single uniform system’ to ensure students around the world are treated the same as those in the UK. However, students around the world feel Cambridge has contradicted itself by allowing exams to be canceled in some countries, while students in other countries are being made to appear for physical exams.
With the pandemic looming large, and an exceptionally uneven distribution of education resources, it is ruthless to expect students to be able to appear for exams and to perform as in normal times.
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