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Schoolchildren face problems taking exams in snow-covered villages

Updated February 09, 2019


Students stand in the corridor of Govt Primary School, Murree, ahead of their annual exam. — Dawn
Students stand in the corridor of Govt Primary School, Murree, ahead of their annual exam. — Dawn

MURREE: Students of class 5th are facing severe problems while appearing in the ongoing central exams due to the severe cold and heavy snow.

The Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) is conducting the examinations of class 5th and 8th and has set up 24 centres in Murree town and other areas. At least 20 of the centres are located in villages where heavy snowfall has brought routine life to a standstill. Mussiyarri, Murree city, Ghorra Gali, Ghulehrra Gali, Bunn etc., have received two feet of snow and the snowfall continued there. A number of link roads in Murree and its adjoining areas are also closed due to the snow.

Small students have to travel for miles on foot to reach the centres in the freezing cold and back. Moreover, there are no heating arrangements in the examination halls and even in many centres supply of electricity is suspended due to the inclement weather.

Residents and parents demand education dept reschedule centralised exam in April

Prof Ashfaq Kaleem Abbasi, an educationist, Javed Abbasi, Azkar Abbasi, Nazir Abbasi and other residents of the area said a number of students had fallen sick due to the cold weather.They demanded that the exams should be conducted in the hilly areas in April or October.

The education department has associated Murree with plain areas of Punjab for conducting exams and starting the academic year. But in plain areas the weather is not as severe as in the hilly areas in winters. Parents of the students also demanded that exams of 5th and 8th classes should be conducted after March 15 or in November.

When contacted, Shahida Hashmi, the district education officer (DEO), acknowledged the problems being faced by the students but expressed her helplessness to take any steps, saying the issue can be resolved only by the secretary or minister for education.

She said the issue had repeatedly been brought under the notice of the higher authorities but remained unresolved. She said the local elected representatives should raise the issue in the assemblies.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2019