Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said on Monday that O Level exams, previously due to start on May 15, would now begin from May 10.
Mahmood said that the Cambridge Assessment International Education had written to him, requesting that O Level and IGCSE exams be allowed to begin from May 15 instead of May 10.
“After consultation with provinces/stakeholders we have agreed. Now O level/IGCSE [exams] will start from May 10,” he tweeted along with a picture of the letter.
In the letter, Christine Ozden, chief executive officer of the Cambridge Assessment International Education, had said the earlier start would “help us to enable many more students to progress and their equivalence in the education system will be fairer as they will have a better chance to demonstrate what they have learnt”.
Last week, Mahmood had announced May 15 as the date for O Level exams in the country while saying that Advanced Level exams would be held as per schedule.
Last year, Cambridge International had cancelled all exams that were scheduled to be held in the country in May and June on Pakistan’s request and in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, this year, it announced it would be cancelling in-person exams in a “very small” number of countries — 10, including the UK — and would award students grades based on their teachers’ assessment, or expected grades.
The board claimed the Covid-19 directives issued by select governments make it “impossible” to conduct physical examinations there.
Earlier this month, the government announced the closure of all educational institutions in areas with a high incidence of Covid-19 till April 11.
Following the announcement, educational institutions in Islamabad and several cities of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were closed.
Mahmood had said that board examinations would take place according to their timetable as giving students the “baseline” grade was no longer an option.–Dawn