Protesters want their grades to be reviewed
Pakistan’s O and A-level students brought their grievances out on the streets on Saturday when they held a protest outside the Karachi Press Club against the ‘unfair marking’ by the international board.
The Cambridge International Examinations announced on August 11 the results for their O and A-Level exams. An evidence-based grading system was used this year after the students couldn’t take their exams because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 95,0000 students from 139 countries opted to appear in the exams under the grade prediction method for the Cambridge May/June session.
During the Saturday protest, O and A-level students held placards with slogans such as ‘gora gandi band karo‘ and ‘we want fair grades’.
“The grades this year have left us devastated,” said one of the protesters. “The expected A grades have been changed into C and D grades which is like dropping from 90% to below 50%.” This has sabotaged our future as our chances of getting into a good university has shrunk,” he added.
Another A-level student complained that her A grades have been brought down to Cs. “I even know students who have gotten U grades. This is pure injustice with us,” she complained.
When the results had initially come out, students and parents had taken Twitter by a storm, complaining about the grades and demanding the Cambridge board and government to take action against it.
Following this, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood revealed that the CIE “has agreed to review its grading procedure regarding the recently declared results”.
As a result of our intervention conveying the anguish of our students, I have just heard that Cambridge has agreed to review its grading procedure regarding the recently declared results. It will announce its final verdict after review on Tuesday— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) August 14, 2020
“It will announce its final verdict after review on Tuesday [August 18],” he tweeted on August 14.
According to a statement issued by the international board, it had been listening to feedback and suggestions from schools and students and had been “looking carefully at how to act on it”.
“We have also heard your concerns about some aspects of our process, and we understand the real anxieties Cambridge students are facing at the moment,” it added.
According to the evidence-based grading system, students were graded according to a four-step assessment system. The CAIE asked teachers to use evidence and professional judgement to predict grades for each student in each subject they have entered for in the May/June 2020 exam series, based on what the student would have achieved if normal teaching had gone ahead.