PESHAWAR: As daily load-shedding hits the 12-16 hour mark, the scorching heat makes lives miserable in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Unfortunately, students suffer the most as they prepare for their ongoing intermediate exams.
According to the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Peshawar, six centres have been set up for the Fa/FSc examinations in Peshawar, Charsadda, Kyber Agency, Mohmand Agency, Frontier Region Peshawar and Chitral.
BISE Mardan also has centres for students in Mardan, Nowshera, Swabi and Takht Bhai.
Congested examination halls, lack of cold drinking water in coolers and rising temperatures have added to student woes as examination centres are not spared from power outages.
Shad Ali Khan and Murtaza Khan, students from Mardan, said their exams started on May 15 but prolonged outages affected their preparation and they will not be able to attempt them well.
“I worked hard the whole year but I can’t revise in this hot weather, especially with load-shedding,” said Shah Hussain, who complained all his preparation went to waste.
“There is no electricity the entire time, even the exam sheets get wet as we sweat over them," said Hussain. The frustrated student appealed to the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to ensure the availability of electricity during exam hours at the very least.
According to Faroz Shah, an examiner in the Government Post Graduate College Mardan, it is very hard for the students to solve papers in summers without electricity. Even cool drinking water is not available at the examination centres.
All Primary Teachers Association President Malik Khalid Khan said it was not only difficult for the students, but also for the examiner. Some students faint because of the suffocating environment; others cannot attempt their papers properly.
While facilities have been provided at private schools, the state-owned ones have no electricity backup available, added Khalid. He reiterated the government and relevant authorities should take measures to provide electricity at least on the day of exams and drinking water at the centres.
BISE Peshawar Chairman Professor Dr Muhammad Shafi Afridi confirmed they have asked Pesco to cooperate and avoid outages during examinations.
However, when Pesco spokesperson Shaukat Afzal was contacted, he said Pesco cannot arrange separate timings for the education department. Power cuts will be observed according to the schedule, stated the spokesperson.
“The area where there is more power theft and low recovery will have to bear more load-shedding,” Afzal added.
About 43,378 students are enrolled for their intermediate part-I while 45,913 students are going to take their intermediate part-II.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2013.
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