HEC directs varsities to declare exam policies

VCs, commission decide to save academic year ‘at all costs’


​ Our Correspondent May 13, 2020
Representational image. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: To save the academic year of students, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Tuesday turned down the notion of direct promotion to the next semester and asked universities across the country to announce examination policies within a week.

The purpose of examinations is to reward students for actions that will make them successful in their future lives, explained HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri in a meeting with vice-chancellors and rectors of all public and private universities of the country on Tuesday.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, he said, "Examinations and assessments are an integral part of the teaching process. Attempts to eliminate exams will have severe repercussions for educational quality and student achievement."

"Only fake degree mills issue degrees and certificates without verification," Binuri said.

This was the fourth meeting between HEC and the vice-chancellors since the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and discussed matters about examinations policy, admissions policy, academic quality, and the academic calendar.

The meeting decided that all universities will announce their policies on examinations and admissions within a week and all attempts shall be made to protect the academic calendar.

The problems faced by graduating students will also be addressed. Besides, the HEC will set up an appellate system to follow up on student complaints. Vice-chancellors agreed to come up with their examination policies, based on the individual nature of examinations, aligned with their respective feasibility scenarios and needs of students.

There was also a shared concern that disruption in the academic calendars could be costly and take a long time to correct, as the disruption of 1980s led to a loss of time and quality with prolonged impact.

All efforts must be made to sustain educational activities during this difficult period, to minimise any disruption in the academic calendar, they suggested.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2020.

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