ISLAMABAD: The federal government announced on Thursday that there would be no matriculation and intermediate examinations this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and students in grades 9 to 12 would be promoted or granted marks in accordance with a policy formulated for this purpose.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad after an Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood explained that 9th and 11th class students, both regular and private, would be promoted to grades 10 and 12 grades respectively.
In the case of students studying in classes 10th and 12th, they would be awarded marks on the basis of their scores in the grade 9 and 11 examinations respectively and also receive additional 3% marks.
“They [9th and 11th class students] won’t take the composite examinations in 2021,” the minister elaborated.
Instead, they will only appear in the grade 10 or 12 examinations respectively. Their marks for grades 9 and 11 would be calculated on the basis of their performance in grade 10 and 12 examinations.
The students who have cleared all the subjects in grades 9 and 11 would pass the 10th and 12th classes respectively. “This will cater to a vast majority of the students,” the minister said.
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To facilitate the students in grades 10 and 12, they will be awarded passing marks if they failed in less than 40% of their subjects in the 9th and 11th examinations.
If the coronavirus situation in the country improved, special examinations would be held between September and November this year for students who were not satisfied with the policy.
The students who wanted to improve their grade 11 results could do so by appearing in a special exam. Similarly, those who wanted to appear in additional subjects, composite examinations or failed in more than 40% of subjects in grades 9 and 11 could also take a special examination.
“Those wishing to appear in these exams must inform their boards by July 1,” the minister said.
The examination fee of these students would be adjusted in the special exam. Their transcripts and certificates would be awarded after the special examination takes place.
The minister said only an aggregate score out of 1,100 and an overall grade would be mentioned in the transcripts and not the scores of individual subjects in part-II of matriculation or intermediate (both theory and practical).
He further explained that educational boards should mention in the transcripts and certificates that the marks awarded for part-II were based on the formula and guidelines approved by the government and recognised by the Inter Board of Chairman Committee and reflected the best performance of the student.
“The decision [to skip examinations this year] was unanimously made at the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference,” Mahmood said.
“The conference adopted the educational policy formulated in the wake of novel coronavirus,” he added.
“During the current year, around four million students from grades 9 to 12 had to appear in examinations, which were cancelled because of the pandemic.”
The minister said educational institutions across the country had already been closed till July 15 as per the decision of National Coordination Committee (NCC) on Covid-19 to protect students against the disease.
To a question, Mahmood said professional training institutes were only awarding certificates and not degrees to students. “We are also devising a policy in this regard,” he added.
To another query, he said the ministry did not want to interfere in the affairs of universities.
“The Higher Education Commission had been directed to evolve a policy in consultation with universities about their exams.”
Following days of deliberation, the Sindh government had also announced the cancellation of matriculation and intermediate examinations this year.
Sindh Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani said students would be promoted after amendments to law.
“The decision to cancel board exams will be announced after the meeting of the steering committee,” he added.
The minister said he had ordered the preparation students’ data so that they did not face any difficulties pertaining to admissions to universities.
On May 12, the provincial government had said that it would only promote students up to grade 8. The provincial education minister said the committee had decided to promote these students based on their performance of the previous year.
The minister had cited laws of the boards of examination as a reason for being unable to promote all students.
He had added that the committee would consult with the federal government pertaining to the exam schedule.
With input from APP