Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said on Sunday that the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) examinations would take place as per schedule and there would be no delay or cancellation.
In a series of tweets, the education minister said the decision, among others, had been taken in a special meeting of health and education ministers from the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. “Those students wishing to take exams in Oct/Nov can do so in the same fee already paid,” he added.
“Meeting was also informed that Cambridge has decided not to give teacher-assessed grades this year therefore those not taking exams will take them in the next cycle Oct/Nov,” said Mahmood, adding that the CAIE had assured that Covid-19 standard operating procedures would be “strictly followed”.
The Lahore High Court on Wednesday had issued notices to the British Council, Pakistan director of CAIE and the federal ministry of education on a petition challenging the physical presence of students in O and A levels exams despite the rising incidence of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Several students filed the petition through Barrister Hassaan Khan Niazi, pleading that O and A levels classes had not been held for the whole academic year and the syllabus was not covered for the most part, yet the students were forced to take exams in the traditional way, putting their own lives and those of their family members at risk. They said the respondents had announced that the exams would be held with the physical presence of the students in the examination halls and rooms.
However, they said, the CAIE had given two options to the respective governments of the countries witnessing the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases; to either hold exams in the traditional way or to avail school-assessed grades for the students.