Federal education minister says board exams will commence after July 10, with grades 9-10 only covering math and electives and 11-12 just electives
Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood on Wednesday said that promotional exams for students of classes 9-12 would be held after July 10, adding that grades 9-10 would only be tested for elective subjects and mathematics, while grades 11-12 would be tested for elective subjects only.
“This decision has been taken as students have different streams and directions so they will sit in exams related only to their particular subject of interest,” he announced during a press conference convened after a meeting of all provincial education ministers. He warned that this was the final delay for the exams, as all education ministers wanted the results to be finalized and published by the third week of September to mitigate any difficulties students might face in securing admission to colleges and universities.
Mahmood said the decision was also motivated by valid concerns from students that they had not been able to complete their syllabi due to the on-again, off-again nature of schooling during the pandemic. “It was necessary to shut schools due to the COVID-19 situation. There was also a risk associated with reopening schools due to fear of students contracting the disease,” he said, but stressed that this did not mean any students could be promoted to the next grade without exams.
“We had initially reduced the syllabus by 40 percent,” he said, and had now decided to just test elective subjects, which were the most relevant for the future plans of the students, as some would opt for medicine, or engineering, or the arts. “The 9th grade and 10th grade exams will be taken in elective subjects and mathematics. Therefore, exams will be held in four subjects,” he said, adding that the exams of 11th and 12th grades would be only for elective subjects.
To a question, he announced on Twitter that the marks obtained by students in their elective subjects would be “proportionately allocated to subjects in which exams is not being taken.” He also maintained that scheduling the exams after July 10 would give all students around three to four weeks to prepare, adding that the gap between exams would also be increased to aid in studying.
Mahmood also announced that the next Cambridge International exams would be held from 26 July to Aug. 6, adding that students who sat their A2 exams in the October-November session would be eligible for provisional admissions by different colleges.