Exams in Pakistan Scheduled for the Third Week of May

In recent news, Shafqat Mehmood, the Federal Minister for Education, made an announcement stating that grades 1 through 8 will not have physical classes until the 28th of April. This is applicable only to those districts that are heavily affected by the novel coronavirus. 


He explained that these classes will take place online but, no student will be allowed to enter the school premises. This announcement was made shortly after he had a meeting with the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), scheduled to talk about the coronavirus situation in the country. 


The Minister went on to add that board exams for grades 9th, 10th, and 11th will begin from the third week of the month of May. On the other hand, exams held by Cambridge will take place on their scheduled dates.


He further stated that classes for grades 9th till 12th will operate as per the norm. However, strict adherence will be paid to the precautionary standard operating procedures (SOPs). 


He left it on the provinces to decide which districts, in which cities, they would like to impose a lockdown. Mahmood advised the relevant authorities of the provinces to focus on the areas that have been the most affected and thus, require the implementation of strict measures. 


The Federal Minister revealed that Sindh has announced that all classes in the province will remain closed, owing to the rising number of cases in the country.


He maintained that the NCOC will have another meeting on the 28th of April to review the overall situation and make additional decisions regarding educational institutions in the country. 


Providing insight on the meeting of the NCOC, Mahmood said that the main agenda was to discuss whether to reopen those specific educational institutions that have been shut down until the 11th of April. Another main aim of the gathering was to come up with a schedule for exams. 


Moreover, he informed that universities in the country will be requested to delay the admission process. 


The meeting of the NCOC was attended by several Health and Educational Ministers, who deliberated about the way forward for all educational institutions in the country. 


Keeping in mind the third wave of the coronavirus, on the 10th of March, the government gave an order to shut down all schools located in hotspots for the disease. This decision was relevant for two weeks, starting from the 15th of March. 


In other news, the Chief of the NCOC, Asad Umar, has revealed that broader lockdowns, stronger enforcement of SOPs, as well as increased restrictions are starting to show a positive impact on the coronavirus cases in the country. He informed that the positivity of the infection in Pakistan is slowing down. 


However, the Minister went on to caution that due to high number of cases recorded in the past two weeks, mortality rate, along with patients in critical condition, is likely to increase in the upcoming days.