Educational institutions in Punjab and KP will reopen from Sept.16: Asad Umar
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
All students will be declared pass in the results of the board examinations and 33 per cent marks will be awarded to them if they fail in any subject.
Meanwhile, 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.
The NCOC had earlier placed strict restrictions on 24 districts throughout the country, Asad Umar said, adding that out of these, strict restrictions will only be imposed in six districts while the rest have been allowed relaxation.
The Inter-Provincial Education Ministers Conference (IPEMC) presided over by Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood has taken this decision.
All education ministers were of the opinion that since students had faced difficulties in preparing for their matriculation and intermediate exams during the COVID-19 pandemic, they should be given the concession.
Shafqat Mahmood said 33 per cent marks would be awarded in each subject, which a student was unable to clear. He said all decisions related to exams and results had been taken unanimously in the meeting.
"Education ministers including Sindh, participated in the meeting (physically and online) and took decisions,” the federal minister said, adding that there would be no reduced syllabus anymore and exams would be held as per schedule.
"I would request students to fully focus on their studies as there would be no reduced syllabus this academic session,” he said.
Officials said the IPMEC decided that the academic session would now commence throughout Pakistan from August every year while board exams would be conducted in May-June instead of March-April. The current academic year also started from August and the board exams held in May-June.
However, officials said that the Sindh education minister differed with the decision. He stated that the provincial government would deliberate upon the issue and take a decision accordingly.
They said that since it has become difficult to hold regular classes of students, the decision to pass them has been taken.
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."
"Based on the reduced level of COVID disease spread and the launch of the school vaccination programme, it has been decided in today’s NCOC meeting to allow all educational institutions to start normal classes from 11th October,” Umar said on Twitter.
The educational institutions in Pakistan will begin reopening in phases from next week following a fall in new coronavirus case numbers, officials said, ending a long closure that led to exam cancellations and threw students' grades into chaos.
Federal officials said the government has decided to conduct exams of students only in grade V and VIII. They added that the director general of the federal directorate of education has sent a summary to the relevant authorities in this regard.
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