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HEC allows universities to hold online exams based on their capacity

ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of concerns raised by students of some universities that their exams should be conducted online, Higher Education Commission(HEC) has allowed universities to conduct exams, either on-campus or online based on their capacity, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

“HEC advises universities to conduct exams based on their capacity and need for fair assessment,” reads the statement issued by HEC.

The decision was taken in a meeting attended by Vice-Chancellors of all the provinces and regions. The meeting reviewed apprehensions of students carefully keeping in view the difficulties brought about by the pandemic and opening of universities from February 01, 2021.

“HEC already allowed universities to use their discretion to conduct exams, either on-campus or online as long as the chosen mode provides a fair assessment of students’ performance,” the statement added.

“Universities should take stock of their “exam readiness”, i.e., technological readiness, managerial capacity, and the announced policy, and choose the best possible mode of assessment,” it further added.

HEC in a press release said that online exams “either can be used if the universities administer ‘Open Book Exams’ or establish an invigilation system in a supervised environment”.

The statement further reads that universities will also have to use Turnitin to check the similarity index with Web and the answers of other students. Further, a viva/oral exam may be integrated into the assessment where necessary.

Read More: Universities to decide on taking online exams, says Shafqat Mahmood after students’ protest

“On-campus exams can be used only under strict compliance with all Covid-19 health and safety protocols. Universities may also have to organize make-up classes for two weeks in case students consider the course coverage to be deficient,” according to a statement.

HEC said that all students in a single course will be examined in the same mode i.e., either on-line or on-campus.

“Since March 2020, HEC has been continuously monitoring the pandemic situation and coordinated with the universities to minimize academic disruption and continue online education with quality safeguards,” reads the press release.

It is pertinent to mention here that protests have erupted in parts of the country with students clashing with university administration and police.

Read More: Universities to decide on taking online exams, says Shafqat Mahmood after students’ protest

In Lahore, some students of the University of Central Punjab, who staged a sit-in outside the campus, pelted stones at security guards. They tried to force their way into the campus but were pushed back by the guards who baton-charged them.

A large number of students staged a sit-in outside a varsity in Faisalabad. The protest turned violent when some of them started pelting stones at its gate and tried to broke into the campus.

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