KARACHI: The Board of Secondary Education, Karachi has been ordered by a court to allow 3,000 students to sit the Matric exams as regular candidates. The board had changed its policy recently, saying that students who were older than 20 years of age had to appear as external candidates.
The matter landed in the Sindh High Court where private schools argued that if the board had wanted to change its policy, it should have done it before the students went through the entire process of registering as regular candidates. They had paid the fee, prepared for the exams as regular candidates and invested their precious time.
The board’s legal counsel, Abrar Hasan, defended the BSEK’s new policy, saying that it was meant to enforce discipline. The board had given the students a choice between appearing as external or private candidates.
Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Shafi Siddiqui disposed of the five identical petitions on Tuesday and told the board to issue the exam admit cards by April 3 to all 3,000 plus students.
On March 16, the SHC had told the board not to harass the students any further and allow them to appear in the practical and theory exams which were already under way.
Following the Sindh High Court’s decision, the board announced on Tuesday that it would start issuing admit cards to all 3,573 students who are over 20 years old from Wednesday.
According to the BSEK’s controller of examinations, Rafia Mallah, the schools could collect the admit cards from 11am to 1pm from the board’s office. She added that the board will conduct the practical exams for these students from March 29 to April 3 for which a schedule will be announced. For the annual theory exams from April 5, the board will set up examination centres for these students so that they can appear with the rest of the students.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2012.