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Impossible to award grades among students without exams: Shafqat Mahmood

ISLAMABAD: Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said on Sunday that it is impossible to award grades among student without holding exams as the authorities witnessed irregularities in the grading system after deciding to promote the students amid the surge of COVID-19 cases, ARY News reported.

Shafqat Mahmood, while talking to the ARY News programme ‘Sawal Yeh Hai’, said that no one could predict the future of the coronavirus third wave. He detailed that the decisions of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) were not solely taken by him.

The NCOC sessions were attended by all provincial ministers and the decisions have been taken with a consensus. He said that the education authorities had witnessed irregularities in awarding grades to the children last year.

He continued that many top-performing students had been given Grade C last year, whereas, British Council had held exams by following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) against COVID-19.

Read: Shafqat Mahmood announces to cancel all exams until June 15

“There are only two options left for us to conduct exams or cancel it. In order to facilitate Cambridge student, exams had been organised in October. The current situation of coronavirus is uncertain and we cannot predict the future.”

“What is my benefit by conducting exams of Cambridge students? Some people are misbehaving with me on social media while children want to pass out without facing any exams.”

On the other hand, parents are seeking the education authorities to conduct exams as their children have completed preparations. Mahmood clarified that Cambridge exams are being organised by British Council but not by the federal government.

“At first, they were debating about prioritising health, but they are demanding grades now.”

Read: SHC brushes off petitions against physical O/A level exam

He added that the top-performing students had disappointed last year. He further said that exams will be conducted at any cost as it is impossible to deprive the top-performing students to get the fruit of their efforts. Only those students who are unwilling to continue their studies have demanded to cancel the examinations.

Regarding the admissions, Shafqat Mahmood said that the varsities’ administrations have been asked to change their admission policy. Those students who appear in the exams in October will get admissions.

“Last year, 5 million students had been promoted without exams as in this situation, children will stop continuing to study. Grades will not be awarded to anyone without appearing in the exams. We will try our best not to waste the academic year of the children and they will get admission.”

“We have decided to conduct exams after meeting with the British Council. Exams will be conducted by following the SOPs.” The federal minister said that NCOC head Asad Umar has been asked to immediately conduct Covid vaccination of school educators.

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