As Pakistan grapples with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of students are expected to appear for the O and A-Level exams in person which ironically goes against the SOPs announced earlier this week by the government itself.
When the courts decided to reject the students’ case and gave not deterring from the NCOC’s decision as a reason, the students went back to social media to voice their anger and dismay. Hereunder is the Sindh High Court’s decision i.e. in line with the other courts.
As per SHC, “only a small proportion of students filed the petition while a majority are studying hard and eager to take the exams”. However, that is far from being the case. The issue goes beyond the fact that in most schools, the prescribed syllabi have not been taught fully. Many students have complained that the real disruption caused by the pandemic was the constant switching between online and on-campus classes.
Moreover, students and their parents who contracted the virus found it difficult to cope up with their studies. Students have raised a number of points to argue their case but all fell on deaf ears. Activist, and emerging youth icon Jibran Nasir, who had been fighting the students’ case for them, shared his two cents.
Students have persistently pleaded to cancel the upcoming May-June 2021 exams; a reasonable demand, given the extraordinary times we live in. However, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears. As things stand, the Cambridge O and A-Level exams in Pakistan began today, on April 26 and are said to end on June 11.
Govt adamant on putting youth’s life at risk
It seems as though the government’s different ministries are not on one page. While the NCOC issues its set of SOPs, the education ministry does not seem to abide by them. If outdoor activities are banned, then why are in-person examinations allowed?
Earlier today, Mahmood wished students the very best as they take their examinations. “These are tough times and difficult decisions have been made keeping the students’ best interest in view,” he said in a tweet. But what best interest?
‘Who will be held responsible?’
Many claim violation of SOPs in exam halls
But Mahmood is not convinced…
Despite the mounting pressure from students who demanded the cancellation of exams, Cambridge examinations began today with not-so-strict coronavirus SOPs in place across Pakistan.
Meanwhile, sharing the update about A-Level students, Mahmood said, “As regards AS students, I have asked Cambridge to reconsider the 13-month condition for taking remaining papers considering the extraordinary situation.”
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