Shafqat Mahmood says exams to be taken as per schedule
Classes for grades nine to 12 across Pakistan will resume from Monday, April 19, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood has announced.
An emergency meeting of all provincial ministers was called on Sunday. It was decided that the classes, even in districts affected by the novel coronavirus, will resume.
A special meeting of Health and Education Ministers of all provinces and AJK/GB was held today. The following decisions were taken with complete consensus. 1) Classes 9 to 12 would commence in affected districts in a staggered manner to allow students to prepare for Board exams— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) April 18, 2021
The classes will allow students to prepare for their exams, the minister tweeted.
Educational institutions in virus hotspots will take classes on alternate days with 50% attendance. Schools and colleges have been advised to ensure strict SOP implementation.
Classes from grades nursery to eight will resume after Eid. Universities in districts where cases are increasing will, on the other hand, conduct classes online.
According to Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas, 50% of students in the province will be called on Mondays and 50% on Thursdays. Classes will be taken on a staggered basis in these cities:
The government had suspended all physical classes across Pakistan on April 6 after coronavirus infections rose.
The minister reiterated that board examinations for classes nine to 12 will be taken as per schedule. They will be conducted according to the new date sheets announced by each province.
“This means exams will not start before the fourth week of May,” Mahmood said.
Cambridge exams too will be taken as per the date sheet announced by the international board. “There will be no delay or cancellation and students wishing to take exams in October/November can do so in the same fee already paid.”
The minister clarified that Cambridge has refused to grade any school-based assessments this year. “It has ensured all SOPs will be followed strictly,” he added.
All educational institutions across the country were closed in late February 2020 after coronavirus cases began to rise. They were reopened in phases starting September 15, 2020.
On November 23, 2020, after the second wave of coronavirus cases hit the country, the government announced that all educational institutions would close again from November 26, 2020.
Classes were taken online till December 24, 2020, and winter vacations started from December 25, 2020, and were supposed to last till January 10. The government said it would hold a meeting to review the decision to reopen schools on January 4.
The NCOC then decided that schools would reopen in phases with classes nine to 12 being the first to reopen on January 18.
On March 10, the government closed schools in Punjab, Islamabad and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for two weeks in light of the third wave of the coronavirus.