PESHAWAR: Uncertainty has been prevailing among the students of 8th and 9th grade, particularly of the private schools, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the last four months about the status of their upcoming annual examinations, according to sources.

They said that the students got more confused when a bench of Peshawar High Court suspended a notification of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar regarding holding board examination for students of eighth grade and composite examination for 9th and 10th graders instead of separate examination.

The elementary and secondary education department had issued a notification on February 18 about the composite examination for 9th and 10th graders and board examination for the students of eighth class. The examination for students of 8th has so far been conducted by the respective school administration.

Court has suspended notification about board exam for 8th graders and composite exam for students of 9th and 10th grade

Later, all the boards of the intermediate and secondary education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa conveyed the decision of education of department to all the private and public sector schools on May 17 for implementation.

Since long, the private educational institutions have been skipping the course for the 8th graders and taught them course of the 9th graders aimed at getting maximum marks in the board examination.

To stop this practice and force the private schools to teach the relevant course to the 8th graders, the education department decided in February that examinations for class eight would be conducted by the education boards, officials said.

When the private schools received the decision in May, as usual they had already taught the course for the 9th grade to the students of class eight. After that the private school owners changed their mind and decided to implement the decision and asked the 8th graders to purchase the relevant course books though wasting their two months.

The private schools had also given the summer task to the 8th graders in the relevant course. With the suspension of the education department notification by PHC a month ago, the students have been contacting each other through telephones to know as to which course they should continue to study.

“A classmate has told me that the school administration has reversed its decision and now it will start again teaching the course of 9th grade,” a student of a private school told Dawn.

Though the case is pending in PHC, several owners of private schools told Dawn that they would again start teaching the course of 9th grade to the students of class eighth.

Mushtaq Ahmad, the father of a student in Hazarkhwani, said that it was injustice with the 8th graders to change the course for them twice within four months. “My son is still confused whether he should continue the summer task of eight class or not,” he added.

Private Educational Institute Management Association provincial president Khwaja Yawar Naseer told Dawn that the students would start coming back to his school on Monday (today) after the summer vacations. “Definitely we will stop teaching them the relevant course of 8th grade rather we will restart teaching them the course of 9th grade,” he said.

He said that sources in Peshawar board conveyed to the private schools that the upcoming examination of 8th and 8th grade would be conducted on the old pattern as the government reversed its decision in that regard.

Provincial Institute for Teachers Training Director Hakeemullah, who holds the additional charge of Peshawar board, told Dawn that the board had not withdrawn the notification regarding the composite examination of 9th and 10th grade and board examination of 8th grade.

“We are waiting for the court decision which will come soon,” he said.

When contacted for comments, a senior official of the elementary and secondary education department said that the government stood by its decision and the case was pending in PHC. He said that education department would make all efforts to win the case.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2019