Photo used for illustrative purpose.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Sunday announced that board exams for grades 9 to 12 would be held on time as per schedules, dispelling rumours that the ministry is cancelling them.
During a talk with reporters, he reaffirmed the government’s policy of sticking with its decision to commence examinations across the country. The statement comes on the heels of recent protests held by students voicing their demands to cancel the examinations.
A number of students have been detained by the police during a protest against matriculation and intermediate examinations outside the Higher Education Commission (HEC) office in Islamabad.
The students shouted slogans against the government and demanded the cancellation of the examinations. According to the protesters, they were taught the courses online and they claimed they were unable to prepare well for the upcoming examinations. They urged Mahmood to either approve their demands or tender his resignation.
The minister urged the students to refrain from entertaining rumours that the government will cancel exams. “Education sector has already suffered a lot due to COVID-19 pandemic,” the minister said, insisting that pandemic-induced shortcomings would have to be amended.
He reiterated that special arrangements would be made to ensure health safety and prevention of the spread of the COVID-19. However, he maintained, virtual education lacked quality and could not compensate for the physical attendance of students.
FAKE VACCINE ENTRIES
Meanwhile, police have booked three healthcare department of Punjab on charges of making fake COVID-19 vaccine entries at Expo Centre Lahore. Lahore police have registered the case against three employees — Rehan, Shahzaib and Zeeshan — under section 420 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) on the complaint of Rana Naveed, a shift in charge at the Expo Centre.
Naveed alleged that Rehan and Shahzaib administered AstraZeneca to five people demanding that particular vaccine, charging Rs4,000 per person, and Zeeshan collected the bribe amount.
He said AstraZeneca was not being officially administered at the Expo Centre, but these health employees had made fake entries in the record.
Earlier, Mirpur University of Science and Technology (MUST) held its sixth annual convocation in which 2,100 students were given graduation degrees.
Forty students won gold medals for their outstanding performance in various disciplines and five students were conferred PhD degrees.
President Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Chancellor of the University, Sardar Masood Khan was the chief guest of the event held at an open space outside the main campus of the university while a large number of university graduates, their parents, faculty members and residents of the city attended the event.
Dr Hussein indicated that the number of students registered to take exams on campus has reached 10,000 students according to a system that depends on the type of courses and their requirements.
No student would be awarded grades without attempting examinations this year, the education minister stressed, adding: "If we do not conduct the exams, then students will not even employ minimum efforts to study."
National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) chief and Federal Minister Asad Umar announced that educational institutions in five districts of Punjab and one distinct in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will reopen from Sept.16.
For admission in PhD programmes, First Division in the annual system and a minimum CGPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 in the semester system is required. Moreover, a student pursuing a PhD will have to take up a course load of 48 credit hours.
The blaze took place in the village of Lesnoy, 300 kilometres (185 miles) from the capital in the region of Ryazan. Authorities originally said 15 people had died, but later said one man who received severe burns had died in hospital.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Friday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
A fire broke out in a 61-story luxury apartment building in Mumbai in western india on Friday, a fire official said.The New Delhi Television channel reported one death, but there was no immediate confirmation by the fire authorities.